§ [Queen's Recommendation signified]
§ Considered in Committee under Standing Order No. 88 (Money Committees).
§ [SIR SAMUEL STOREY in the Chair]
Motion made, and Question proposed,
That, for the purposes of any Act of the present Session to make provision with respect to increases or supplements in respect of certain pensions, it is expedient to authorise the payment out of moneys provided by Parliament of any expenditure incurred by a Government department under or by virtue of any provision of that Act—
§ 9.59 p.m.
§ Mr. Peter Walker (Worcester)
May I ask the Financial Secretary whether there was any need to draft this Money Resolution in such a way as to exclude certain types of cases as will be excluded by paragraph (a) in the words…not being increases determined by reference to the emoluments or pensions of persons other than the person to or in respect of whom the pension in question is payable …1468 This makes it impossible for us to put down Amendments which make any comparison with other pensions, for example an Amendment to bring payments in line with the 1956 payments. This Money Resolution is drawn much tighter than previous Resolutions on similar types of Bills.
§ The Financial Secretary to the Treasury (Mr. Niall MacDermot)
It is right to say that in this one respect this is tighter than the Money Resolution on the previous Measure. I gave careful thought to this matter because I have responsibility to the whole House in respect of Money Resolutions. The policy which governs the matter was made clear by the then Lord Privy Seal, Mr. Butler, and he was repeating an assurance given by the Prime Minister in 1937 which was that the general policy governing the framing of Money Resolutions would be that they should be suchas not to restrict the scope within which the Committee on the Bills may consider Amendments further than is necessary to enable Her Majesty's Governments to discharge their responsibilities in regard to public expenditure and to leave the Committee the utmost freedom for discussion and amendment of details which is compatible with the discharge of those responsibilities."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 9th May, 1957; Vol. 569, c. 85–86.]We felt here that as we had excluded these major questions discussed today on grounds of public expenditure—they clearly were not feasible—and as obviously these were not matters which could be introduced by way of substitution for other measures in the Bill, for example, to introduce the matters referred to by the hon. Member for Worcester (Mr. Peter Walker), would mean recasting the Bill—we thought it right to draw the Money Resolution in these terms. We thought it was legitimate and right to do so for the protection of the public purse. I have looked at the scope of Amendments which would be allowed under the Money Resolution and there is not a single Amendment which was called in relation to the previous Pensions (Increase) Bill which would not be, as I am advised, in order within the Money Resolution. Indeed, there are many other Amendments which could be introduced under this which were not admissible under that. In other respects it is wider.
§ Question put and agreed to.
§ Resolution to be reported.
§ Report to be received Tomorrow.