HC Deb 11 July 1928 vol 219 cc2235-6

asked the Prime Minister whether he is aware that a number of persons in receipt of pensions adequate for comfortable maintenance are employed in various Government Departments; that in some cases these persons are also granted additional pensions on retirement; and whether, in view of the number of capable men and women unable to secure employment in any capacity suitable to their qualifications, he will set up a Committee to inquire into the whole question of the advisability of prohibiting the employment in Government service of such pensioners except under special and temporary circumstances when no other person is available?


The pensions of civil pensioners re-employed in the Government service are, under Section 20 of the Superannuation Act, 1834, either suspended or adjusted so that the salary and pension of a re-employed civil servant shall not exceed the amount of his former pay. No deduction is ordinarily made from the service or disability pensions of ex-members of the Army, Navy or Air Force employed in a civil capacity, and I am aware that a number of such pensioners are employed in Government Departments and that in certain cases they will in due course be eligible for the grant of a civil pension in respect of their service in a civil capacity. In regard to the latter half of the question, I see no reason why ex-members of the Army, Navy, or Air Force in receipt of service or disability pensions should be debarred from further employment, for which they are fitted, in a civil capacity in Government Departments; nor would it be in the interests of the State to take any steps which might tend to restrict the free choice of the best candidate available for a particular post. In these circumstances I am not prepared to accept the hon. Member's suggestion of the appointment of a Committee.


Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that something like 30,000 men have been removed from employment and debarred from any future employment because of the receipt of a paltry 10s. a week pension from the State, and that employers all over the country are discharging men and refusing them any chance of further work merely because of the 10s., and does he think it is right that men who have comforable pensions and can live quite reasonably should take work when there are others capable of doing it?