§ 59. Major HORE-BELISHA
asked the Financial Secretary to the Treasury whether, seeing that the provisions of the Pensions (Increase) Act apply to pensions payable out of moneys provided by Parliament, notwithstanding that pensioners may be resident in Ireland, and that the Dublin Metropolitan Police have 1719 been paid increases under the 1920 Act, he will state why it is they have been excluded from the 1924 Act; and whether he will take steps to include them?
Dublin Metropolitan Police pensions are not payable out of moneys provided by Parliament. There is, therefore, as I informed the hon. Member on 31st March, no power to grant them additional increases of pension under the 1924 Act.
§ Mr. MACPHERSON
Is it not a fact that, during the discussions on the Pensions Bill, a pledge was given that the position and all the rights of these pensioners would be preserved?
I have no knowledge of any pledges given that they would have any additional pensions. Their position as beneficiaries has been preserved.
§ Major HORE-BELISHA
Is the right hon. Gentleman not aware that we were told that, when we were asked to exclude the words "Great Britain" it would not affect their position in any way, and is it not a fact that these are the only class of pensioners who do not receive any increase under the Act?
I think the hon. and gallant Member is referring to a matter which he raised on a subsequent occasion. The context of that statement about the words "Great Britain" shows, I think, that this was in an entirely different connection dealing with the local authorities in Northern Ireland.
§ 61. Major HORE-BELISHA
asked the Financial Secretary to the Treasury, with reference to the Pensions (Increase) Act, 1924, which gave increases of pension to pre-War police pensioners but excluded the Dublin Metropolitan Police pensioners alone, although these servants of the Crown had benefited by the previous Pensions Increase Act, whether he is aware that his predecessor stated on the Committee stage of the Pensions (Increase) Act, 1924, that the insertion of the words Great Britain in that Bill would not interfere in the least with any contract; and whether, seeing that the contract of these Dublin Metropolitan Police pensioners was with His Majesty's 1720 Government, he can assure the House that His Majesty's Government will see to it that these men are given their due?
The statement by my predecessor to which the hon. Member refers was made upon Clause 3 of the Bill and related solely to increases of pension payable by local authorities. It is not, therefore, in point. There is, however, no question of any breach of contract with Dublin Metropolitan Police pensioners, as they remain in receipt of all pension benefits to which they were entitled at the date of the transfer of the service to the Irish Free State.