HC Deb 04 May 1925 vol 183 cc592-3

asked the Financial Secretary to the Treasury whether he is aware that ex-police pensioners with large pensions have recently been engaged at the British Museum, Natural History Museum, Tate Gallery and the National Portrait Gallery; whether be can state how many ex-police pensioners have been so engaged; whether he is aware that the engagement of these men is contrary to the promise that ex-service men shall be given preference for vacancies in the minor grades of the Civil Service; whether he can state what salary is being paid to the ex-police pensioners engaged; and what is the amount of difference between their salaries and that paid to warders?


At the British Museum (Bloomsbury) and the Natural History Museum, police pensioners have recently been substituted for regular police previously employed, to the number of 30, of whom 10 are ex-service men. At both the Tate Gallery and the National Portrait Gallery, one police pensioner has been recently engaged to fill a, vacancy. The trustees of these museums and galleries, who are responsible for the safe custody of the collections, consider it essential to have a proportion of men with police experience amongst their warding staff. They fully realise their obligation to give the greatest possible consideration to ex-service men and, where possible, have engaged police pensioners who are also ex-service men.

The rate of pay of a police pensioner is 8s. a day, with 5s. a week additional for a sergeant, and 1s. a week uniform allowance for all ranks. The rate of pay of commissionaires employed on warding duties at the British Museum and Natural History Museum is 29s. to 34s. a week plus cost-of-living bonus, and of attendants employed on warding duties at the Tate Gallery and National Portrait Gallery is 29s. to 33s. a week plus cost-of-living bonus.


Will the right hon. Gentleman consider whether it is possible for the Government, in filling these vacancies, to see that the small pre-War pensioners have preference over the others, in view of the fact that they find themselves unable to live on their pre-War pensions?


I will certainly draw the attention of the trustees of the museums concerned to that suggestion. My hon. Friend knows that the matter is not directly under our control.


Will the right hon. Gentleman at the same time consider the cases of ex-service men who have no pensions at all?