§ The DUKE of RICHMOND
presented a petition from certain outdoor pensioners of Chelsea Hospital, complaining of a clause 872 in the Act 9 and 10 Vict., passed in the year 1847, which prevented them, although they were worn out in the service, from receiving money due to them. The noble Duke said that he understood those deserving poor men were mistaken as to their claims.
§ EARL GREY
thanked the noble Duke for giving him an opportunity of stating the facts of the case; for it was of the greatest importance, not only that the veterans of our Army should be properly rewarded by this great country, but that they should understand that they were treated with the greatest liberality. By an Act of George II., the out-pensioners formerly paid a poundage of 5 per cent for the payment of their pensions in advance. The present Secretary at War thought that such poundage bore very hardly upon them, and, by his advice, the Treasury brought in a Bill, which was passed in the year 1847, by which the payment of poundage was discontinued. A clause was introduced into the Bill to prevent its action being retrospective, and that was the clause of which the petitioners complained. The fact was that a great boon had been conferred upon the pensioners, by the abolition of the poundage from the date of the passing of the Act, and no less a sum than 50,000l. per annum had been thereby secured to them. Some persons, however, had led them to believe that they had a right to get back the poundage paid previously to the passing of the Act, and it was for those arrears they were seeking. It should be understood that no claim for arrears could be sustained, the Act of 1847 not being retrospective in its operation.