HC Deb 26 March 1934 vol 287 cc1651-80

The following Amendments stood upon the Order Paper:

In page 45, line 20, to leave out "may," and to insert "shall."

In line 26, to leave out "may," and to insert "shall."

In line 29, to leave out from "to," to end of line 31, and to insert "the following and any other necessary modifications."—[Sir H. Jackson.]


I understand that the hon. Member for Central Wandsworth (Sir H. Jackson) does not wish to move the first and second of these Amendments. It will be for the convenience of the Committee if we discuss the entire scheme under this Clause on the third Amendment.

3.36 p.m.


I beg to move, in page 45, line 29, to leave out from "to" to the end of line 31, and to insert: the following and any other necessary modifications. I am grateful to you, Captain Bourne, for allowing a general discussion on this Amendment. Under Clause 50 rules may be made by the Treasury, after consultation with the Minister of Health, with respect to the superannuation rights of persons who are officers of local authorities with pensionable service and who will by this Bill be transferred to the new board. As I understand Clause 50 such rules may provide (a) for the application of the Civil Service Superannuation Acts, and (b) on retirement from the Civil Service for payment of superannuation allowance by the local authority whose service the officer left in order to enter the service of the board. It is understood that the intention of the Government is that the rules shall prescribe that the superannuation allowance to be paid by the local authority shall be based on the number of years service with that local authority and upon the salary or average salary which the officer was receiving from the authority at the moment of his transfer.

The effect of the Clause as it stands would be that such a person, instead of being superannuated on the basis of the salary received by him at the time of his retirement from the proposed board and on the aggregate of his years of service, would be superannuated by the local authority as regards his local government service, on the length of that service and on the basis of his salary at that time, and by the board as regards his service with the board, regard being had to the salary or average salary received by him at retirement. Perhaps I could illustrate it better by a concrete example. Let us assume that an officer had 10 years' service with a local authority before his transference to the board, and that he was receiving £300 a year when he left that service; let us assume that he joined the board and had 20 years' service with it, and on retiring was receiving £600 a year. What sort of superannuation will he receive if Clause 50 is carried? He will receive 10/60ths of his £300 from the local authority, that is to say, £50. and 20/60ths of £600, that is £200, which is the equivalent of 20/80ths plus a lump sum under the Civil Service scheme from the State. In a word, he would receive £250 a year after his complete service first with the local authority and then with the State. If he had continued in the service of the local authority throughout the whole of his period of service, he would have received 30/60ths of £600, or a superannuation of £300, whereas he will in fact receive only £250. He will, therefore, be penalised to the extent of £50 a year because of his transference.

It may be objected by the spokesman for the Government that the new board will have no fund into which such transfer values could be paid. I suggest that the spirit of equity which has always decreed that an officer of a local authority who has been transferred to another authority should suffer no disservice in consequence of the transfer should operate in this case. In order to provide for a transfer value in the case of Poor Law officers who were transferred under the Local Government Act of 1929 but remained under the Poor Law Officers Superannuation Act, 1896, it is proposed that an officer transferred to the board shall either come under the Local Government and Other Officers Superannuation Act, 1922, or under the local Acts scheme, if the local authority possess a superannuation scheme; and if the local authority have no superannuation scheme, then it is suggested that the officer himself should pay his transfer value to the board.

I am speaking this afternoon on behalf of the National Association of Local Government Officers, a very important body. I am advised that this proposal for payment of a transfer value receives the support of the Association of Municipal Corporations, and judging by the fact that there is a proposal very much like mine standing in the name of my hon. and gallant Friend the Member for Tiverton (Lieut.-Colonel Acland Troyte) I am entitled to assume that it also receives the support of the County Councils Association. There is thus a joint acceptance by two great authorities, the Association of Municipal Corporations and the County Councils Association, and the great body for which I am speaking, the National Association of Local Government Officers. In view of that weight of opinion I hope the Financial Secretary to the Treasury will give sympathetic consideration to this Amendment.

3.43 p.m.


I wish to support the Amendment moved by my hon. Friend the Member for Central Wandsworth (Sir H. Jackson). The point is really a very simple one, although the law relating to superannuation and the pensions of civil servants is very complicated. We wish the word "shall" to be substituted for the word "may," in that way requiring that rules shall be made providing for the pensioning of officers transferred to the board.


That has not been moved.


If it is understood that that is the intention of the Government, of course there is no necessity for that minor Amendment. I thought all Amendments were to be dealt with together.


On a point of Order. I understood you to intimate from the Chair, Captain Bourne, that the Government had concurred in the view that there should be a general discussion based on this particular Amendment, in order that we could review the general position of officers under this Bill. Is not that so?


I told the Committee that I understood the hon. Member for Central Wandsworth (Sir H. Jackson) did not desire to move his first Amendment— page 45, line 20, to leave out 'may,' and insert 'shall.'"— which, incidentally, had nothing to do with his scheme. What I suggested was that as the hon. Member's scheme is a somewhat elaborate one, and is covered by various Amendments on the next four pages of the Order Paper, it would be convenient if we discussed that scheme as a whole on this Amendment, and that the scheme should stand or fall as the result of the division, if any, on this Amendment.


No one would wish that as a result of the alterations which are now being made, the men now employed in local government who are to be transferred to the service of the State should be in any worse position in regard to their superannuation. The instance given by the hon. Member for Central Wandsworth makes it clear that those men would be worse off under the conditions laid down in the Bill. In the illustration which he gave a man had been serving a local authority for 10 years and at the end of that period was earning £300 a year. He then passed into the service of the board and works under the board for 20 years. At the end of that time he will have put in 30 years' service. How is that man's pension to be reckoned in accordance with the terms of the Bill? In respect of his 10 years' service with the local authority he would receive as pension ten-sixtieths of the of the £300 salary which he was earning at the end of the 10 years, that is, £50 a year. In respect of his 20 years' service with the board he would be given twenty-sixtieths of his salary at the end of the 20 years, and, presuming that salary to be £600, he would receive £200. Adding the £50 to that, he would receive as pension £250. That is under the terms of the Bill, together which the rules, which are in draft.


That is £5 a week. Better than 15s. 3d.


Supposing the man had done his whole 30 years' service with the local authority instead of being transferred into the Civil Service, and that he had earned the same salary, he would then have had a pension reckoned at thirty-sixtieth of his salary at the end of 30 years, and the pension in that case would be £300. Alternatively, if the man had spent the whole of his 30 years with the board or in the Civil Service he would in that event also receive a pension based upon thirty-sixtieths of his salary at the time of retirement, and assuming that that salary was £600 the pension would be £300. Here, however, where the man's service with the local authority is broken at the end of 10 years, his pension is to be smaller; he receives only £250. That is a loss to which he ought not to be put in consequence of the changes which are being brought about at this time and which are, presumably, in the naitonal interest. We ask that that anomaly shall not be created.

Instead of the Bill's proposal that at the end of a man's service the local authority shall be called upon to contribute their proportion, we ask that they shall, upon a man being transferred, pay the transfer value. The Bill provides that, when service has been completed, a man's pension is to be made up by two contributing factors, one the local authority and the other the board. We suggest that upon the man being transferred, the transfer value shall be paid to the board and into such fund as may be created by the Treasury in consultation with the Ministry of Labour.

For the policy which is contained in our Amendments there are ample precedents. Suppose that a man has been serving under a local authority and that he is transferred to another local authority instead of to the Civil Service. Under the existing law, and under the Rules that have been prepared, there is ample precedent for the authority which the man is leaving to pay over to the new authority a transfer value in respect of his pension. Suppose that a man leaves a local authority and goes to some statutory authority like the London. Passenger Transport Board. Precedents are already in existence, and it is the custom, for the transfer value attached to the man's service on the local authority to be passed over to the statutory authority on which he is to serve. We ask that the precedent that now exists, as between one local authority and another or between a local authority and a statutory authority, shall apply as between a local authority and the board which is being set up by this Bill.

It has been pointed out by the hon. Member for Central Wandsworth that the proposal is not repugnant to the desires of the great employing local authorities. They are, in fact, in favour of it. The hon. and gallant Member for Tiverton (Lieut.-Colonel Acland-Troyte) has an Amendment on the Paper very similar to that which stands in the name of the hon. Member for Central Wandsworth. We prefer our Amendment because it is a little fuller, and we think that it is a little clearer. It makes provision for the old Poor Law officers who have a rattier special case, because of the Superannuation Act, 1896. We hope that our Amendment will commend itself to those who have put down the other Amendment, which is intended to achieve the same purpose.

I think it is generally agreed that it would be wise not to leave any grievance in the minds of those who are now to be called away from local service into the Civil Service. Our Amendment is fairer as between the public and the public servant. It does no injustice to anyone, imposes no unconscionable burden, and it gives to the man who has been transferred from a local authority to the Civil Service what he would have had had his service with the local authority been continued or what he would have had if he had been working from the beginning under the board or in the Civil Service. I want to make one explanation. I used the word "sixtieths" just now. The working out of the pension of a local government officer is calculated in sixtieths. In working out a pension for a civil servant the calculation is upon eightieths, hut, in addition to the eightieth, there is a bonus, and the bonus, if added to the eightieth, makes it practically equivalent, for the purpose of working, to the sixtieth. Working out the pension on the basis of the sixtieth applies, therefore, to the local authority and to the Civil Service.

I believe that this is an Amendment which the Government should accept because it will secure a great measure of good will for the very formidable change that is now being carried out. The Government should be anxious to have the full support of its officers. I do not, of course, suggest that if the Amendment is rejected there will be any reluctance on the part of the officers to perform their full public service, but, if there is some sense of injustice, based upon what it must be admitted is an anomaly, that is a reason why the Government should accept the Amendment. The present proposal will inflict a loss upon the men concerned of as much as £50, in the circumstances of which I have spoken.

3.56 p.m.

Lieut.-Colonel ACLAND-TROYTE

It is not often that I have the pleasure of agreeing with the hon. Member for Bodmin (Mr. Isaac Foot) but I agree with him in regard to the Amendment, as far as I understand it. The terms of the Amendment are similar to those of the Amendment which stands in my name, and there is nothing in it with which I am not able to agree. If the Amendment which is now before us is accepted, I shall reserve my right to move Amendments to it upon the Report stage. We consider that the method adopted by the Government in this superannuation proposal is absolutely unsound from the local government point of view. We have already heard that it is unsound from the point of view of the men themselves. I do not propose to deal with the position of the men as it has been fully dealt with by the hon. Member for Bodmin, but there is no doubt from the local government point of view the proposal is unsound, particularly at this time, when nothing of this sort should be passed in the Bill, because of the fact that negotiations are going on now with regard to the general question of transfer of local government officers to the Civil Service and vice versa. If a method of superannuation of this sort is set up in the Bill, it is likely to be regarded as a precedent.

As has been pointed out, the rights of superannuation of transferred officers are divided into two parts by the Government scheme, one part relating to service under the local government, for which the local government will remain responsible, and the other part for which the Government will become responsible. The local authority will find it necessary to keep detailed accounts and to go into intricate calculations about men who have ceased to be in their employment, and who will never return to their employment again. There seems to be no reason whatever why the Government should not adopt a system which has worked perfectly well under the Superannuation Act of 1922, in regard to the transfer value which is handed over when a man is transferred from one service to another.

None of the arguments used by the Government seem to have any great substance. One is that there is no Government superannuation fund at present, but there is nothing on earth to prevent the Government from starting a superannuation fund. I believe the Government say that, as there is no superannuation fund, any transfer value has to be paid into the Treasury, and will, therefore, be absorbed for current expenditure, leaving future years to pay the whole value of the pension. There is no reason whatever why a superannuation fund should not be started by the Government. We are making many alterations in the law in this Bill, as we do in every Bill that we pass. There is no reason why such an alteration should not also be made, and why it should not work smoothly and well between the Government and the local authority. The other objection which I believe might be raised is that the Government, being the last authority, have, therefore, to pay the largest amount, on the supposition that the salaries paid by the Civil Service are higher than those paid by local government. It must be remembered that the men are not transferred from the local authorities to Government service for their own pleasure, but because there is no further work for them under the local authorities and the authorities are bound to transfer them to the Civil Service in order to continue them in employment. There is no reason to suppose that the men will consider the Civil Service more attractive than service in local government. This superannuation system, as I have said, works perfectly simply and reasonably under the local authorities, and I can see no justification for the Government refusing to adopt it. The County Councils' Association and the Association of Municipal Corporations attach very great importance to this, and I hope that the Government will accept the Amendment.

4.1 p.m.


I hope that, on grounds of justice and equity, the Government will accept the Amendment, but I am anxious to put before the Minister another point. It is true that officers who have been engaged by local authorities for some time will have accumulated transfer value, and I am hoping that that point will be appreciated. I am concerned, however, about the person who is likely to be taken over but who, up to the present, has been engaged temporarily, and will not be entitled to any superannuation at all. I wonder whether it will be possible to bring in my point here.


I think not. I think that that will arise on the fifth Schedule. They could only come under this Amendment if they were pensionable, and thus possessed a transfer value.

4.2 p.m.


As my hon. Friend the Member for Central Wands-worth (Sir H. Jackson) said in moving this Amendment, although one would not gather it from the clarity of his speech, this appears to be a very complicated subject. Nevertheless, my hon. Friends who have spoken in this Debate have made the points they desire to make extremely plain. I think, however, that there is some misapprehension, if I may be forgiven for saying so, in the minds of those associated with the Amendments we are now discussing. The Unemployment Assistance Board will, of course, on its creation have to engage its officers and servants, and, presumably, it will seek to avail itself of those who have experience in similar work; in other words, it will seek to avail itself more particularly of relieving officers and those who have been engaged in the administration of the Poor Law. Normally if these officers took advantage of any offer of employment outside their own service, they would sacrifice whatever pension rights might be due to them. That is the normal practice. Obviously, a new employer is not formally concerned with any pension rights that a man to whom he is offering a job has enjoyed or may be forswearing. On the one hand, you have the employer who offers the new work, and, on the other, you have the person to whom the work is offered. The employer offers work upon such terms as he thinks will attract the person, and the person, considering all the circumstances and all the prospects, has the choice, and makes up his mind which is the better alternative for him to pursue.


There really is no alternative. They are obliged to accept, or they will be redundant.


That is the misapprehension which I desire to remove. The ordinary Poor Law of the country will go on. This is not a Bill to transfer en bloc a certain class of municipal employés to another service. This is a Bill, as I see the hon. Gentleman the Member for Ebbw Vale. (Mr. A. Bevan) agrees, which establishes an Unemployment Assistance Board, and that board is entitled to engage its own staff. It will, as I imagine, seek to take advantage of the experience of many who are now engaged in the local service upon this particular kind of work, but there is no compulsion upon any of these officers to accept work under the new board.

Lieut.-Colonel ACLAND-TROYTE

Many of these officers will be engaged on means test work which will cease to operate, and, therefore, these men will have no more work in which they can be employed under the local authority, who will be bound to get rid of them, and there will be no work for them to do, except under the Assistance Board.


I think my hon. and gallant Friend is confusing the temporary man, whose position the hon. Gentleman opposite just now desired to raise but which it is not relevant to discuss, with the permanent person who is under some kind of contract which provides him with a pension. That is the person with whom we are dealing here. The Unemployment Assistance Board will, I suppose, take steps to bring to the notice of these people the terms upon which it will engage them. We do not know the terms at all. My hon. Friend the Member for Central. Wands-worth and my hon. Friend the Member for Bodmin (Mr. Isaac Foot) took a series of figures, and showed that if those figures were accepted by the committee the man who took employment under the Assistance Board would be worse off than if he remained where he now was. If that be the case, he will not accept the post. It stands to reason that if this Board desire to engage persons of experience and ability, they will have to offer them such terms as they are likely to accept.

Vice-Admiral TAYLOR

Suppose they do not accept this position. Will they then go on in work where they are at present, or will they lose their work altogether?


Presumably, they will continue in work under the local authority. There is no compulsion here of any kind, and, in so far as they are performing work under the Poor Law, that work will continue. I think I have made that position clear to the Committee.


Do I understand the position to be that there is no compulsion on the new body to take over these people in the same way as in the case of the Poor Law a short time ago, and, if so, will it not mean the redundancy of all those posts and that they will be dispossessed?


It means nothing of the kind. This is not a Bill such as the Bill which removed one set of officials from the board of guardians to the other local authority. This is a Bill which enables the Unemployment Assistance Board to engage such staff as it may desire, and, as I say, the normal procedure is for a man who has the opportunity to accept work under a new authority, to make up his mind whether or not he will accept that work, and it is his own concern if he sacrifices any pension rights. But there is one exception to that, and that is in the Mental Treatment Act, 1930, with which hon. Members opposite, particularly the right hon. Member for Wakefield (Mr. Greenwood), were identified. That Act established a Board of Control in analogous circumstances. It is the provision in that Act that we are following here, and it is the only Act upon the Statute Book which deals with the preservation of rights to those who transfer from the local authority to the State. In all other circumstances, the procedure has been for a man to sacrifice his rights.

In order to smooth the transference, and in order that there may not be any reluctance by persons now working under the local authority to accept the new posts, we are proposing something which, I am sure, the Committee will agree is eminently fair. We say that in so far as they have acquired pension rights under the local authority, they shall conserve those rights in full, and receive pensions due to them in respect of their service under the local authority on their ultimate retirement from the Civil Service, and, in addition, receive from the State a pension in respect of that service which they have given to the State. In cases where their service, either under the local authority or under the State, has not been long enough to qualify them for a pension, they shall be entitled to aggregate the two periods for the purpose of pension. I hope that the Committee will see we are really proposing something which is generous and just in respect of those who may accept the new employment.


In the case my hon. Friend last mentioned who will pay—the State or the local authority?


The local authority will pay what it owes in respect of service rendered to it, and the State will pay what it owes. Of course, the State cannot be expected to take over a liability in respect of service not rendered to it, but the local authority will meet that part of the obligation, and the State will meet its own part.


If the man did not qualify for any superannuation rights, who pays in respect of those years?


That is exactly the right which is given to the man. He would not be entitled, in normal circumstances, to a pension at all if he left the local authority's service of his own accord. But we say that, however short the period may have been during which he has served the local authority, the appropriate pension in respect of that period shall be given to him by the local authority. That is, I think, a perfectly clear answer to my hon. Friend. The persons, therefore, are in this advantageous position: In the first place, it is optional whether they take the new service or not; in the second place, they will have to be attracted into the new service; in the third place, they will escape paying contributions out of their salaries for their pensions. In the calculation which was presented to us by hon. Members who have spoken, the Committee was not told that at present they contribute to their own pensions by deduction from their salaries, which, of course, is worth some additional sum to them, seeing that they now get a pension which is non-contributory. The pension in the Civil Service is calculated on the actual salary at the date of retirement, which is an advantage to them, because under the local authority system it is caflculated on an average salary for the previous five years. I do not think that when the Committee considers those facts, it will conclude, as my hon. Friend suggested, that some injustice was being done. Quite the reverse.

My hon. Friend the Member for Central Wandsworth does not like this scheme, which is a simple, clear-cut, easily comprehensible scheme, leaving the local authority to pay what is due from it, and leaving the State to pay what is due from it. He does not like this scheme; he wants another scheme far more complicated, and which will be, as I will submit to the Committee, impossible to administer. It is not that we are unsympathetic to his scheme, and certainly not to those prospective servants of the board, but the scheme he advocates, after due examination by us, has been found to be unworkable. In the first place, he wants the total period of service of any person engaged both under the local authority and under the State to be considered as service under the State. That is an absolutely untenable suggestion. Why should the State accept a liability which the local authority itself does not accept? A man may have been in the service of a local authority, not in any pensionable capacity at all, for some period. Under my hon. Friend's proposal, all his service—not his pensionable service, but all his service—the Amendment says "the whole service"—would be reckoned as service in the permanent Civil Service of the State.


Does not the Amendment, in turn, ask that, in respect of a servant of a local authority, there shall be, either a transfer value where there has been a superannuation scheme, or, where there has not been a superannuation scheme, such contribution from the local authority as shall be determined?


No, Sir. My hon. Friend will, perhaps, allow me to deal with these matters in sequence. If he will refer to the first Amendment, he will see that I am accurately quoting it. It says: That for the purposes of the said Acts the total period of service"— whether pensionable or not— …shall be deemed to be service in the permanent Civil Service of the State. I say that that is putting upon the State an obligation which properly should not rest upon it, because, if the service was not considered to be pensionable by the local authority, it should not be considered to be pensionable by the State. I now come to the second proposal, which I assure my hon. Friend I am not going to attempt to escape. That is that the local authority should pay to the State a transfer value in respect of each person taken on. "Transfer value" is a technical term, introduced by virtue of the Local Government and Other Officers (Superannuation) Act, 1922. It is something like the surrender value of an insurance policy. To have a transfer value, you must have paid into some fund, and the transfer value, like the surrender value, is the present value of your future rights. Before there can be a transfer value, there must be a fund into which contributions have been paid, and, as I have said, the term owes its origin to the Local Government and Other Officers (Superannuation) Act. That Act was a permissive Act. Local authorities who had no pension scheme of their own were offered this model scheme, under which they could establish a superannuation fund into which contributions were paid, and, once the fund was there, it was possible, on the transference of a servant of a local authority from one authority to another, where both the authorities had adopted the scheme, to make an arrangement between them about the transfer value.

But only a certain number of authorities have adopted the Act, nor is it the only Act under which pensions are paid. Before that Act was passed, certain classes of officers had pensions under Acts of Parliament, such as the Poor Law officers and the asylum officers. There is no superannuation fund there, and, therefore, there is no fund out of which a transfer value could be paid. In those cases, pensions are paid, as they fall due, out of the rates. Other authorities, on the other hand, have schemes under their own local Acts, which differ from all the other schemes that I have already mentioned, and they do not include superannuation funds. Therefore, in order that the proposal of my hon. Friend should work, there would have to be a fund possessed by the authority transferring, and a fund possessed by the authority to whom the person was transferred. In this case you are dealing with two unlike subject-matters. Even where there is a fund—and, as I have shown, that only applies in a number of cases, and not in all—even where there is a fund in the hands of the local authority, there is no fund in the hands of the State, because the local authorities have contributory pension schemes and the State has a non-contributory scheme. Therefore, there is no fund whatever into which this transfer value, even if it could be assessed—which I have shown would be administratively almost impossible—could be paid, and the hon. Gentleman will see that the analogy must fall to the ground. This transfer value generally applies in the case of sporadic transfers where individual officials are exchanged between one authority and another. You cannot assimilate all the various local schemes and all the various local funds, and still less can you assimilate the position where there is no fund at all to the State's non-contributory scheme.

For those reasons, and having examined most carefully the proposals of my hon. Friend, we have decided to adopt the only simple and logical way of dealing with these officers, and I am sure that anyone who examines the problem impartially will agree that it is the only logical way. My hon. Friend, like my hon. and gallant Friend the Member for Tiverton (Lieut.-Colonel Acland-Troyte), said that there was some agreement between a certain officers' association and the local authorities about these Amendments. I am not surprised. There is always agreement when there is a possibility of getting something more out of the Treasury. They are not disinterested bodies, and, naturally, they would like to improve even upon our magnanimous terms. But any impartial person examining how this matter could be settled would be forced to rely, if anything were to be done at all, upon the precedent set up by the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Wakefield in the Mental Treatment Act. He found a way of doing this—[HON. MEMBERS: "What was it?"] It is exactly the precedent for the provision in this Bill.


One is entitled to know what the provision was which I put into the Act and which affects this Bill and provides a precedent.


Certainly. I do not suppose that the right hon. Gentleman wants in any way to detract from his own scheme. I am sure he will agree that I, for my part, have done my best to explain this matter as lucidly as possible. I have given way with the intention of answering every question that has been put to me. There is no party question involved here, but only the question of common sense and justice. Sub-section (9) of Section 11 of the Mental Treatment Act, 1930, has in it exactly the same provision—if the right hon. Gentleman insists I will read it to the Committee—for the transfer of officers to the Board of Control, and that is the precedent upon which we have relied. We have relied upon it because there is no other way of dealing with the matter in a clear-cut fashion. I hope I have dealt fairly with the Amendments. I am not in the least hostile to them in principle, except in so far as they would impose an undue burden upon the Exchequer. I think it is inconceivable that it will be found in practice that these officers will lose anything by the proposals that have been made, because, if that were to be the case, and the terms offered to them were disadvantageous, quite plainly they would not accept them.

4.25 p.m.


I do not want to enter into this struggle at all; indeed, I am not particularly interested in the matter. A large number of officers who have been doing this work during recent months have been doing it in such a way as would not justify them, in my estimation, in having any superannuation terms at all. If they were to be treated in the same spirit as that in which I have come across them treating unemployed men, what they would be getting would be something very trivial. But I do desire that any arrangement that may be come to should be clear and understandable, and, frankly, although I have listened to the very lucid explanations of the Mover of the Amendment and of the Financial Secretary, I admit that I am not quite clear yet as to what is to happen. I would ask the hon. Gentleman this question: Do I understand that the Clause as drafted means that, if a man presently working with, say, the Glasgow Public Assistance Committee, and having, say, 10 years' service in that work of local government, is taken over by the new Unemployment Assistance Board and does 30 years' service with the board, when he comes to retire there will be a demand from him or from the board that the Glasgow ratepayers shall then start paying superannuation to a man who has left their service 30 years before?


In respect of the 10 years' earlier service.


I should think that that is a tremendously clumsy proposal. I can imagine, in my own little burgh in Scotland, a man leaving 30 years ago and coming up to London or to some other part of Britain, and then, 30 years afterwards, when everybody had forgotten who he was, the Government coming along and saying, "You have got to pay superannuation to this fellow, who left you when he was a boy," and I can see a ratepayers' meeting, the smashing of the town hall windows, and a general lively time in the old town. However many difficulties the hon. Gentleman may see in accepting the proposal of the hon. Member for Central Wandsworth (Sir H. Jackson), it seems to me that, when and if a particular employé leaves the service of a local body to go into the service of the nation as a whole, whatever responsibilities the local authority has incurred to that man should be settled at the time when he leaves, and should not be left as a contingent liability to be met 20, 30 or 40 years afterwards. If the Clause as drafted means that local authorities are going to be saddled with responsibilities for servants of whose future they have no control or direction or even knowledge, I personally should oppose the Clause as it stands in favour of any alternative proposal which settles the business connection between the servant of a local governing body and that governing body at the time when he leaves, and not at some subsequent period.

4.30 p.m.


I thank the Financial Secretary for his admirably clear statement. I think he has put the alternatives fairly before the House. I do think, however, that the way which he has chosen of settling the man's pension, and paying the pension, has certain disadvantages. The whole House is agreed that a man should be entitled to a pension for the whole period of his service, whether with a local authority or with the State, and the only question on which we differ is the application of the principle. There are three ways of settling the question. There is, first of all, the suggestion of the hon. Member for Wandsworth (Sir H. Jackson), which the Financial Secretary objects to. Then there is the suggestion of the Bill. As I understand the Bill, the man would get two pensions. He would get his pension from the local authority, and he would get his pension from the State. I think that may be all right as far as the man is concerned, but I do not think it is the best for local authorities.

It is far better for local authorities to settle their liability when the man leaves their service and to pay to the board his transfer value. To that the Financial Secretary raises a very real objection, and that is the objection that I want to meet. He says you are not transferring from like to like. It may be that a man who has served a local authority has earned a non-contributory pension, and therefore there is not a transfer value in the hands of the local authority to which the man has contributed. On the other hand, if there is that fund, and he has contributed, and he transfers to the State, the State pays a non-contributory pension. Therefore, says the Financial Secretary, there may be no fund from which you can pay the transfer value, and there cannot be any fund into which you can pay the transfer value. Surely it is not so in reality. A man in the service of a local authority who has earned pension rights has a claim against that local authority even if there is no fund into which he has paid. He has served certain years, and there is a liability, easily calculable, on that local authority, and there would be no difficulty in any actuary telling the local authority the exact amount that the man had earned and the present value of his future pension. To the local authority that is a far more satisfactory way. If a man leaves their service, it is far better that they should pay all their liability to him and not, as the hon. Member for Bridgeton (Mr. Maxton) just said, be called upon 20 or 30 years hence to pay a sum to a man who long ago had left their service. It is much easier for the local authority, because the man goes and takes his pension rights with him and the matter is settled once for all.

The Financial Secretary says that will not do, because there is no fund which can receive the transfer value—no purse into which the money can be paid. But there is, in effect. Each year that a man serves the State he imposes a liability on the State for future pension, and I am certain his pensionable value is calculated, because it is piling up against the Exchequer, and though there is no actual fund, because the State is so solvent that it need not have a fund, still that man's insurance value is an ascertainable sum, and it is always there. All that you have to do is to credit some special fund in the Exchequer with the transfer value. I am sure the Financial Secretary will see that that, from the point of view of the local authority, is far more satisfactory. It settles their liability once and for all. It is the same for the man, I agree. He gets his full pension anyhow, but it is far better for the local authority, and I ask him if it is inconvenient or confusing for the State. The State will receive credit for all the liability previously incurred for the man and that will be credited to the State, which pays the pension. The State will be in exactly the same position, and I do not believe any more bookkeeping will be involved. I do not know whether it is too late, but I hope my hon. Friend, who has so very clearly stated the case, and has it so well in his head, will see the difficulty in which he places local authorities and will endeavour to meet the point.

4.38 p.m.


When during the discussions on this Bill we see either the Chancellor of the Exchequer or the Financial Secretary, we know perfectly well that finance is the first consideration and that nothing else matters. I am very glad that the Financial Secretary is here, because in the meantime he has been improving his education. He has been reading the Mental Treatment Act, of which no doubt he was completely ignorant until about last Friday, and the Local Government Officers' Superannuation Act, 1922. He informs us learnedly of the law with regard to Poor Law superannuation, asylum officers' superannuation, and the existence of numerous local Acts of Parliament with all of which he is no doubt perfectly familiar. He uses this smokescreen in order to put up the usual Treasury objection to doing anything.

The Treasury never wants to spend any money. That is one of its fundamental principles. The Financial Secretary is here in order to prevent any more money being spent than can possibly be prevented. The most astonishing thing is that he goes to the Mental Treatment Act to find a precedent. That was a very small point. We were only dealing in that Act with the reorganisation of the Board of Control—a very small number of people, not more than four commissioners and a chairman. It was not a case of a wholesale transfer on a substantial scale from local authorities to the national Service. The terms of the transfer are not put forward by the Treasury. But they were set out in Clause 11 (9, a) of the Mental Treatment Act. There is nothing about Treasury rules at all. Therefore, the precedent really fails. Even if it were a precedent for a very small number of people, the case of the transfer of a very large section of the Poor Law now in the hands of local administrative bodies to a national body provides an entirely new situation. The Financial Secretary says that these other schemes are complicated. Of course they are. But the Treasury is never afraid of complications if it can save money. It is only afraid of complications if they involve more expenditure. Complications have never deterred the Treasury. The reason is that the Financial Secretary feels that this complicated proposal may involve the Treasury in rather more expenditure, and he falls back on this excuse. He says that local authorities' officers when they leave the local government service normally sacrifice their pension rights. The point is that the vast majority never normally leave local government service, and those who do are bribed by their new employers by a substantially larger salary and often by a capital payment equivalent to their pension rights. Distinguished persons have been bought from the Treasury—I do not mean in any sense derogatory to them, but the terms on which they have left the Treasury for outside employment have been an increased salary and the capitalised value of the accruing pension as civil servants.

The Financial Secretary says there is no compulsion on these people to become officers of the Unemployment Assistance Board. They can stay where they are. But they are not quite in the same position as civil servants. You are taking from the Poor Law a vast majority—I do not say all; that is one of our complaints—of the unemployed able-bodied who fall outside Unemployment Insurance benefit. You have a number of officers who have served public assistance committees and have dealt with precisely that class of case. When those cases are no longer dealt with by the local authority but by this new bureaucratic Unemployment Assistance Board, the work of these officers will become in a very large number of cases unnecessary. It is not a case of them hanging on to their job, but a number of them will find their agreements terminated. They will be put out of work. They might see the Unemployment Assistance Board from a different angle.

Therefore, the question is not one of the State and local authorities' employés bargaining on equal terms. It is a case of the Treasury putting down the minimum terms which it knows a very large number of local government officers will be driven to accept, whatever the terms are, rather than face the consequence of future dismissal because their services are redundant. That is a very serious situation, and in the circumstances the Government, however bad its Bill may be, might at least be reasonable towards the local authorities whose servants these people are for the time being. The Financial Secretary is defending now the very minimum terms which in decency they could offer, and not the kind of terms that ought to be offered if they are to expect loyal and devoted service from these new officers of the Unemployment Assistance Board.

I agree also with what has been said by the right hon. and gallant Gentleman the Member for Ripon (Major Hills). It is right that local authorities who are going to have to sacrifice their officers should know what their liabilities are, and it would have been much better had the Government been as definite as I was in the Mental Treatment Act instead of leaving it to rules the substance of which has been undisclosed to the Committee, but which are assumed to be based on Clause 11 of the Mental Treatment Act. If the hon. Member cares to persist in this Amendment, we shall be very glad to follow him into the Division Lobby.

4.45 p.m.


I am rather at a loss to follow the arguments of the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Wake-field (Mr. Greenwood). I am not in the least clear—and he did not enlighten us on the point—as to what he wants and why he thinks the terms offered are inadequate. In the course of his speech, in order rather to create other grievances than to state those which he realised, he seemed directly to challenge the assurance given by the Financial Secretary that no man would be faced with the alternative of accepting the new job or losing his work altogether, and that it would be open to any servant to say, "No, I prefer to keep the job I am in at present, and I do not want to transfer."


Is that the case?


I understood the hon. Gentleman to say so.


How can the Financial Secretary give an undertaking on behalf of the local authority?


He has given an understanding, as I understood it, that these people would not become redundant, and that it would not become necessary to dispense with their services.


The hon. Member for Stirling and Falkirk (Mr. J. Reid) should be clear in his mind as to what the Financial Secretary said. He said that I had challenged an undertaking given by the Financial Secertary that these people would be able to continue at their work if they did not like to take the jobs on. These people are employed by local authorities, and the Financial Secretary has no kind of authority over them whatever. He can give no such guarantee. My opinion is that if they become redundant they will lose their jobs.


The question is: Are the services of any officers going to be dispensed with as the result of the passing of this Bill, and not as the result of some action taken by the local authority independent altogether of the passing of the Bill.

Lieut.-Colonel ACLAND-TROYTE

It is the considered opinion of local authorities that a large number of men now employed by them will lose employment as a result of this Bill. There will be less work for them to do, and they will not be required by the local authorities, so they will have no alternative but to accept employment under the Unemployment Assistance Board.


I understood that the Financial Secretary pointed out that it applied undoubtedly to temporary service but did not apply to permanent service. If it be that a considerable number of people are to be faced with the alternative of accepting such terms as the board choose to offer or being out of work altogether, it will put a different complexion on the matter. I certainly understood from the progress of the Debate, and from what the Financial Secretary said—and it was accepted by all speakers until the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Wake-field spoke—that in point of fact there would not be any considerable number of people who would be faced with the alternative of either "You have what the board choose to offer you or you get nothing at all." That is a question of fact upon which I have not the least doubt the Financial Secretary will be able to enlighten us before the Debate comes to an end. Those who know the statistics must realise whether there is any danger of any considerable number of people being faced with that alternative or not. If they are faced with that alternative, of course, one will have to be more careful in seeing whether the terms offered are just. If they are not faced with that alternative and really are entitled to "opt" instead of choose, and if they are to have a free choice, we must leave it to them and need not be so meticulous in our examination of the details of this matter.

Suppose for a moment that I am wrong in my assumption and that it is a fact that people are to be compelled to join the service of the board or lose their employment altogether, surely the important thing is not their superannuation rights, but what are their salary terms to be? The superannuation rights which they are to have are very small in comparison with the salary which they are to receive from the board as compared with the salary which they are receiving from their present employment. If you are faced with the choice of taking a new job or getting nothing to do at all, you first think what is to be the commencing salary in the new job, and then you think what is to be your annual income. Your ultimate pension, whether it be £250 or £300, is a small matter in comparison with the other matters. In view of what the Financial Secretary has said, there is not a very large discrepancy in the worst case, and in many cases there will be an advantage to transfer, because an officer will get his pension on his final year instead of on the average of the last five years. Putting one thing against another, it seems to me that, even if those officers are not given any choice at all but are compelled to transfer, they will get perfectly just treatment. But one would welcome an explanation from the Financial Secretary as to whether they are to have the right of choice, or whether there is to be some manner of compulsion, because there will be no work left for them to do unless they transfer?

As to the position of local authorities, surely it is a very odd state of affairs to have the Treasury coming forward and saying, "We do not want your money to-day, but would rather have it 30 years hence," and, on the other hand, the local authority coming forward and saying, "For goodness' sake, take a capital payment from us to-day. Let us pay you the money to-day rather than pay you in the future." I cannot understand why a local authority in cases where it has no actual funds in hand out of which it can pay the money would rather raise the capital sum to-day than pay an annual sum of a much smaller amount in the more or less remote future. It may be that it simplifies accounting from the point of view of the local authority, but beyond that I am at a loss to see that it is in the interests of the local authority to pay a large capital sum to-day rather than pay a small annual instalment, commencing, it may be, 20 years hence. In view of the fact that the Financial Secretary has definitely said and explained how this is much more convenient in the general cases, and in the absence of some clearer indication as to how the local authority is to benefit by the change proposed, it seems to me that the scheme proposed by the Government has everything to be said in its favour.

4.55 p.m.


It is not necessary for the Debate to go on much longer because most of the arguments in almost all the speeches to which we have listened have a greater bearing on the Fifth Schedule than on the Amendment which is before the Committee. The chief difficulty in respect of local government officers is that it imposes no obligation upon the Unemployment Assistance Board to employ the services of redundant local government officers. That is the difference. This Clause makes it clear that the board intend to reserve to themselves the right of employing servants from anywhere. The great danger is that the employés of the local authorities will have accumulated larger salaries, and the Employment Assistance Board, in order to keep down its administrative expenses in the first years, will therefore not be interested in employing the employés of the local authority. That is one of the difficulties. They will take employés with junior rank and those who have not been able to accumulate such large salaries.


I do not think that we need pursue on this Clause the subject of whom the board is going to employ. The question is as to how the pension rights of those who may be transferred shall be dealt with.


It seems to be rather hard on me, Mr. Deputy-Chairman, that I should only be allowed to spend three minutes on this matter when other speakers have spoken for half-an-hour on the same point. The difficulty is that the local government officers employed by public assistance authorities will very largely be redundant. It must be appreciated that the Bill is taking over the public assistance authorities, and the service upon which was expended £6,500,000 in the standard year 1932–33, and upon which more than £8,000,000 is now being spent. It is true that the local authorities will still have to pay 60 per cent. of that sum, but they will not have to employ people to spend it, and there will be a very considerable redundancy on the part of the local authorities.

I ask the Committee to realise that the sum of £8,000,000 is spent in respect of precisely those services which will be transferred to the board. They are not transitional payment officers who are purely temporary. It will be in respect of the payment of able-bodied poor who will come under the administration of the board. Local authorities will have nothing whatever to do with them in the future, and it is those officers who will be affected by the Clause. As the board will take advantage of not employing the services of expensive officers, many of these men will be faced with the danger of unemployment. I simply rose in order to safeguard our rights when we come to a discussion of the Fifth Schedule and to make it clear to the Financial Secretary to the Treasury that we do not accept the position at all that these men will not be put in a precarious position. The local authorities certainly will not be able to levy rates to pay the salaries of officers whose services will have been rendered redundant by the establishment of the Unemployment Assistance Board.


I beg to ask leave to withdraw the Amendment.



Question put, "That the words proposed to be left out stand part of the Clause."

The Committee divided: Ayes, 248; Noes, 59.

Division No. 178.] AYES. [4.59 p.m.
Adams, Samuel Vyvyan T. (Leeds, W.) Amery, Rt. Hon. Leopold C. M. S. Astor, Maj. Hn. John J. (Kent, Dover)
Albery, Irving James Anstruther-Gray, W. J. Bailey, Eric Alfred George
Allen, Lt.-Col. J. Sandeman (B'k'nh'd.) Applln, Lieut.-Col. Reginald V. K. Baillie, Sir Adrian W. M.
Allen, William (Stoke-on-Trent) Apsley Lord Baldwin Rt. Hon. Stanley
Barclay-Harvey, C. M. Hamilton, Sir George (Ilford) Powell, Lieut.-Col. Evelyn G. H.
Beaumont, Hon. R. E. B. (Portsm'th, C.) Hammersley, Samuel S. Pownall, Sir Assheton
Beit, Sir Alfred L. Hannon, Patrick Joseph Henry Procter, Major Henry Adam
Benn, Sir Arthur Shirley Hartland, George A. Radford, E. A.
Betterton, Rt. Hon. Sir Henry B. Harvey Major S. E. (Devon, Totnes) Ralkes, Henry V. A. M.
Blindell, James Headlam, Lieut.-Col. Cuthbert M. Ramsay T. B. W. (Western Isles)
Bossom, A. C. Hellgers, Captain F, F. A. Reid, Capt. A. Cunningham
Boulton, W. W. Hills, Major Rt. Hon. John Waller Reid, James S, C, (Stirling)
Bower, Lieut.-Com. Robert Tatton Hoare, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir S. J. G. Reid, William Allan (Derby)
Bowyer, Capt. Sir George E. W. Hope, Capt, Hon. A. O. J. (Aston) Remer, John R.
Boyd-Carpenter, Sir Archibald Hore-Belisha, Leslie Renwick, Major Gustav A.
Braithwaite, J. G. (Hillsborough) Horsbrugh, Florence Rhys, Hon. Charles Arthur U.
Broadbent, Colonel John Howard, Tom Forrest Ropner, Colonel L.
Brown, Ernest (Leith) Howitt, Dr. Alfred B. Rosbotham, Sir Thomas
Brown, Brig.-Gen. H. C. (Berks., Newb'y) Hudson, Robert Spear (Southport) Ross Taylor, Walter (Woodbridge)
Buchan, John Hume, Sir George Hopwood Ruggles-Brise, Colonel E. A.
Buchan-Hepburn, P. G. T. Hunter, Dr. Joseph (Dumfries) Runclman, Rt. Hon. Walter
Burnett, John George Hurst, Sir Gerald B. Runge, Norah Cecil
Butler, Richard Austen Inskip, Rt. Hon. Sir Thomas W. H. Russell, Albert (Kirkcaldy)
Cadogan, Hon. Edward James, Wing.-Com. A. W. H. Russell, Alexander West (Tynemouth)
Campbell, Sir Edward Taswell (Brmly) Jones, Lewis (Swansea, West) Rutherford, Sir John Hugo (Liverp'l)
Caporn, Arthur Cecil Kerr, Lieut.-Col. Charles (Montrose) Salt, Edward W.
Castlereagh, Viscount Knight, Holford Samuel, Sir Arthur Michael (F'nham)
Cayzer, Sir Charles (Chester, City) Knox, Sir Alfred Sandeman, Sir A. N. Stewart
Cazalet, Thelma (Islington, E.) Lambert, Rt. Hon. George Savery, Samuel Servington
Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. Sir J. A. (Birm., W) Law, Sir Alfred Scone, Lord
Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. N. (Edgbaston) Leech, Dr. J. W. Shakespeare, Geoffrey H.
Chapman, Sir Samuel (Edinburgh, S.) Lees-Jones, John Simon, Rt. Hon. Sir John
Chorlton, Alan Ernest Leofrlc Leighton, Major B. E. P. Skelton, Archibald Noel
Chotzner, Alfred James Lennox-Boyd, A. T. Smiles, Lieut.-Col. Sir Walter D.
Churchill, Rt. Hon. Winston Spencer Levy, Thomas Smith, R. W. (Aberd'n & Kinc'dine, C.)
Clarke, Frank Lewis, Oswald Somervell, Sir Donald
Clarry, Reginald George Liddall, Walter S. Somerville, Annesley A. (Windsor)
Clayton, Sir Christopher Lindsay, Kenneth (Kilmarnock) Southby, Commander Archibald R. J.
Cochrane, Commander Hon. A. D. Lindsay, Noel Ker Spears, Brigadier-General Edward L.
Colfox, Major William Philip Lister, Rt. Hon. Sir Philip Cunllffe- Spencer, Captain Richard A.
Colville, Lieut.-Colonel J. Little, Graham-, Sir Ernest Spender-Clay, Rt. Hon. Herbert H.
Conant, R. J. E. Locker-Lampson, Rt. Hn. G. (Wd. G'n) Stanley, Rt. Hon. Lord (Fylde)
Cook, Thomas A. Lockwood, John C. (Hackney, C.) Stanley, Hon. O. F. G. (Westmorland)
Cooke, Douglas Loder, Captain J. de Vere Stevenson, James
Cooper, A. Duff Loftus, Pierce C. Storey, Samuel
Copeland, Ida Lovat-Fraser, James Alexander Steurton, Hon. John J.
Craddock, Sir Reginald Henry Mabane, William Strauss, Edward A.
Cranborne, Viscount MacAndrew, Lt.-Col C. G. (Partick) Strickland, Captain W. F.
Croft, Brigadier-General Sir H. Mac Andrew, Capt. J. O. (Ayr) Stuart, Lord C. Crichton
Crooke, J. Smedfey MacDonald, Rt. Hon. J. R. (Seaham) Sueter, Rear-Admiral Sir Murray F.
Cross, R. H. Macdonald, Sir Murdoch (Inverness) Sugden, Sir Wilfrid Hart
Culverwell, Cyril Tom McEwen, Captain J. H. F. Tate, Mavis Constance
Davidson, Rt. Hon. J. C. C. Maclay, Hon. Joseph Paton Taylor, Vice-Admlral E. A. (P'dd'gt'n, S.)
Davies, Maj. Geo. F. (Somerset, Yeovil) McLean, Dr. W. H. (Tradeston) Thomas, Rt. Hon. J. H. (Derby)
Dawson, Sir Philip Macpherson, Rt. Hon. Sir Ian Thomas, James P. L. (Hereford)
Denman, Hon. R. D. Macqulsten, Frederick Alexander Thompson, Sir Luke
Denville, Alfred Margesson, Capt. Rt. Hon. H. D. R. Thomson, Sir Frederick Charles
Dickle, John P. Marsden, Commander Arthur Todd, Capt. A. J. K. (B'wick-on-T.)
Doran, Edward Martin, Thomas B. Todd, A. L. S. (Kingswinford)
Dower, Captain A. V. G. Mayhew, Lieut.-Colonel John Touche, Gordon Cosmo
Dugdale, Captain Thomas Lionel Meller, Sir Richard James Train, John
Duggan, Hubert John Mills, Sir Frederick (Leyton. E.) Tree, Ronald
Duncan, James A. L. (Kensington, N.) Mills, Major J. D. (New Forest) Tryon, Rt. Hon. George Clement
Eales, John Frederick Mitchell, Harold P. (Br'tf'd & Chisw'k) Tufnell, Lieut.-Commander R. L.
Eden, Robert Anthony Moore, Lt.-Col. Thomas C. R. (Ayr) Turton, Robert Hugh
Elliot, Rt. Hon. Walter Morris, Owen Temple (Cardiff, E.) Wallace, Captain D. E. (Hornsey)
Ellis, Sir R. Geoffrey Morris-Jones, Dr. J. H. (Denbigh) Ward, Lt.-Col. Sir A. L. (Hull)
Emmott, Charles E. G. C. Morrison, G. A. (Scottish Univer'ties) Wardlaw-Milne, Sir John S.
Emrys-Evans, P. V. Morrison, William Shephard Waterhouse, Captain Charles
Entwistle, Cyril Fullard Moss, Captain H. J. Wayland, Sir William A.
Erskine, Lord (Weston-super-Mare) Muirhead, Lieut.-Colonel A. J. Weymouth, Viscount
Everard, W. Lindsay Munro, Patrick Whiteside, Borras Noel H.
Fuller, Captain A. G. Nation, Brigadier-General J. J. H. Whyte, Jardine Bell
Gibson, Charles Granville Nicholson, Godfrey (Morpeth) Williams, Charles (Devon, Torquay)
Gllmour, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir John Normand, Rt. Hon. Wilfrid Williams, Herbert G. (Croydon, S.)
Gluckstein, Louis Halle North, Edward T. Wilson, G. H. A. (Cambridge U.)
Goldie, Noel B. Nunn, William Winterton, Rt. Hon. Earl
Goodman, Colonel Albert W. Ormsby-Gore, Rt. Hon. William G. A. Wise, Alfred R.
Granville, Edgar Peake, Captain Osbert Worthington, Dr. John V.
Grattan-Doyle, Sir Nicholas Pearson, William G. Young, Rt. Hon. Sir Hilton (S'v'noaks)
Greene, William P. C. Penny, Sir George
Guest, Capt. Rt. Hon. F. E. Percy, Lord Eustace TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—
Gunston, Captain D. W. Perkins, Waiter R. D. Sir Victor Warrender and Mr. Womersley.
Guy, J. C. Morrison Peto, Geoffrey K. (W'verh'pt'n, Bilston)
Acland, Rt. Hon. Sir Francis Dyke Attlee, Clement Richard Bevan, Aneurin (Ebbw Vale)
Acland-Troyte, Lieut.-Colonel Banfield, John William Buchanan, George
Adams, D. M. (Poplar, South) Batey, Joseph Cocks, Frederick Seymour
Cove, William G. Hicks, Ernest George Rathbone, Eleanor
Daggar, George Holdsworth, Herbert Rea, Walter Russell
Davies, David L. (Pontypridd) Jenkins, Sir William Salter, Dr. Alfred
Davies, Rhys John (Westhoughton) Johnstone, Harcourt (S. Shields) Samuel, Rt. Hon. Sir H. (Darwen)
Dobbie, William Jones, Morgan (Caerphilly) Smith, Tom (Normanton)
Edwards, Charles Lawson, John James Thorne, William James
Evans, Capt. Ernest (Welsh Univ.) Leckle, J. A. Tinker, John Joseph
Evans, R. T. (Carmarthen) Logan, David Gilbert White, Henry Graham
Foot, Dingle (Dundee) Lunn, William Williams, David (Swansea, East)
Foot, Isaac (Cornwall, Bodmin) McEntee, Valentine L. Williams, Edward John (Ogmore)
George, Major G. Lloyd (Pembroke) Mainwaring, William Henry Williams, Dr. John H. (Lianelly)
George, Megan A. Lloyd (Anglesea) Mallalieu, Edward Lancelot Wilmot, John
Greenwood, Rt. Hon. Arthur Mason, David M. (Edinburgh, E.) Wood, Sir Murdoch McKenzie (Banff)
Grenfell, David Rees (Glamorgan) Maxton, James Young, Ernest J. (Middlesbrough, E.)
Griffith, F. Kingsley (Middlesbro', W.) Milner, Major James
Grundy, Thomas W. Moreing, Adrian C. TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—
Hall, George H. (Merthyr Tydvll) Owen, Major Goronwy Mr. John and Mr. Groves.
Hamilton, Sir R. W. (Orkney & Zetl'nd) Paling, Wilfred

Motion made, and Question, "That the Clause, as amended, stand part of the Bill," put, and agreed to.

5.8 p.m.


I beg to move, in page 45, line 38, after "their," to insert "pensionable."

I think this only amounts to a drafting Amendment. It will be noticed that Clause 50 says: Rules may, within twelve months after the passing of this Act, be made by the Treasury after consultation with the Minister of Health with respect to the superannuation rights of persons who, being officers or servants of local authorities with pensionable local authority service, become officers or servants of the board. Paragraph (b) says: …they shall be entitled in respect of their local authority service, etc. The word "pensionable" has been left out. I am advised that it is necessary to have the word "pensionable" in there, because the service would not be recognised unless it had been recognised under a pension scheme of the local authority. In Sub-section (3) there is a definition of "pensionable local authority service." I think the word "pensionable" must have been left out in paragraph (b) not intentionally but by an error of omission.


My hon. Friend is right, and I am obliged to him for having noticed the omission.

Amendment agreed to.


I beg to move, in page 46, line 12, at the end, to add: and the expression 'enactments' includes schemes relating to the superannuation of officers and servants of local authorities made under or in pursuance of any enactment. The words of the Amendment speak for themselves. They do not mean a great alteration.


We do not suggest that an officer should be entitled to superannuation under an Act and not under a scheme. The Amendment would remove any doubt that the rights will be enjoyed even if the officers were under a superannuation scheme instead of an Act of Parliament. Therefore, I am obliged to my hon. Friend, and I accept the Amendment.

Amendment agreed to.