HC Deb 30 May 1935 vol 302 cc1348-9

I beg to move, in page 229, Line 19, to leave out "and interest and bonuses on."

5.13 p.m.


In dealing with this provident fund which is to be established, apparently by the Board, I should like to know from the Government what reasons there are for cutting out the words "and interest and bonuses on" in respect of these pensions. Whenever you establish a superannuation or pension fund interest must accrue to the fund, and there are occasions when the interest is so great in amount that the fund is capable of paying a bonus in addition to the pensions. It seems in this case that the fund might be deprived of something if these words are taken out of the Clause. [Interruption.] It is suggested now that the next Amendment does it, but it seems to me that the Under-Secretary is mistaken. The next Amendment refers to the transfer of certain moneys as between the revenues of India and Burma. I think we are entitled, especially in the case of a provident fund of this kind, to have some explanation as to why these words are to be deleted.

5.15 p.m.


I would not like to say that the hon. Member was gravely mistaken. At first sight it might appear that there was some grave difference between the words which were originally in the Bill and the new paragraph (c) which we are proposing to insert. The hon. Member will recollect that we made an exactly similar Amendment to Clause [85, and there is a similar consequential Amendment in the same Clause. The purpose of the Clause is to secure a proper adjustment between the revenues of Burma and the Authority of the charges which are mentioned in the Amendment. These charges are in respect of certain persons appointed by the Secretary of State, and it seems fair that the revenues' of Burma should be reimbursed from the railway revenues in respect of such charges. The Amendment merely secures that this reimbursement shall be made. I do not think there is any ground for the fear that the hon. Member has, although, in view of the importance of the provident fund, I quite understand his raising the question.

5.17 p.m.


It would be wrong to infer that the hon. Member for Westhoughton (Mr. Rhys Davies) is the only person who is interested in this matter of pensions. It is obvious to those of us who have tried to follow the Bill closely, whether we have been given annotated copies or not, that on this particular occasion the statement of the Under- Secretary clears up the whole position. There is not the least danger, as far as I can see, and I do not think anyone else will see any danger, to the people connected with the railways, whether on the one side or on the other.

Amendment agreed to.

Further Amendment made: In page 229, line 20, at the end, insert: (c) paying to the revenues of Burma an amount equal to so much of any pensions and contributions to provident funds charged by this art of this Act on those revenues and so much of any pensions charged by this Act on the revenues of the Federation of India, as is attributable to service on rail- ways in Burma."—[Sir S. Hoare.]