HL Deb 09 May 1865 vol 179 cc3-6

Order of the Day for the Second Reading read.

THE EARL OF ST. GERMANS moved the second reading of this Bill, the object of which, he said, was to extend to Ireland the principle adopted in England with reference to the granting of superannuation allowances to certain Poor Law officers. For this purpose the guardians of any union were empowered to grant superannuation allowances in certain cases, under certain conditions. These were that the officers who were to receive pensions must be sixty years of age, and have devoted the whole of their time for at least twenty years to the business of the union; the amount to be granted was not to exceed two-thirds of their salary, and the allowance was first to be sanctioned and approved by the Poor Law Commissioners. He regretted that the noble Earl opposite (the Earl of Donoughmore) had given notice of his intention to move that the Bill be read a second time that day six months, as the Bill only proposed to carry out, as regarded those officers, the principle that had been for some time adopted of granting superannuation allowances to civil servants who had spent the best part of their lives in the service of the public.

Moved, That the Bill be now read 2a.—(The Lord Steward.)


rose to move that the Bill be read a second time that day six months. He was of opinion that if superannuation allowances were to be granted certain definite and fixed rules of superannuation should be laid down. Now the result of the provisions of the Bill, which left the matter to the discretion of the Board of Guardians or other local authorities, would be that if an officer was popular he would probably get some retiring allowance; but a man who might be an excellent officer and have served a long time might be forced to go without one if he had no friends in the district. The grant or refusal of superannuations should not be allowed to be swayed by local interest. He suggested that there should be a small annual con- tribution in every union in Ireland, which should be collected into one fund; and that these officers should have the security of getting their superannuations from the Central Board according to fixed and definite rules.

Amendment moved, to leave out ("now,") and insert ("this Day Six Months.")—(The Sari of Donoughmore.)


said, that the best authorities on the subject in Ireland had represented to him that the measure would prove most beneficial. The arguments of the noble Earl opposite (the Earl of Donoughmore) were not so much against the Bill as in favour of some measure that was not yet in existence.


fully coincided in the objections to the Bill urged by his noble Friend who moved the Amendment. It appeared to him that the granting of pensions should be placed in the hands of some central authority instead of the Boards of Guardians.


also opposed the Bill, believing that it would have the effect of increasing still more the taxation of Ireland, the weight of which was the principal cause of the great emigration that was going on from that country. He considered the Bill as objectionable in every shape and form, and if passed it would bring additional odium on the Boards of Guardians.


confessed he was not a very good judge of the merits of this particular case, but it appeared to him somewhat significant that the second reading of the Bill was not supported as yet by any one of the Irish Members of their Lordships' House, whilst three noble Lords from the sister country had expressed the strongest opinions against the measure, and in favour of placing the authority in question in the hands of the Central Board of Commissioners instead of the Boards of Guardians. The difficulty in which they were placed was this, that they could not maintain their views without voting for the rejection of the Bill. If the measure were rejected, the Government would have the power of introducing another Bill adopting the proposition of his noble Friend, or so modifying it as to remove the objection entertained against the present measure in respect to placing the authority in the hands of the local Boards instead of in those of the Poor Law Commissioners. Upon the whole, if the question went to a division he felt compelled to vote with his noble Friend.


said, he should not have risen but for the observations of the noble Earl who had just sat down. He was certainly in favour of the Bill, and believed that it would be a great disappointment in Ireland if it were rejected.

On Question, That ("now") stand Part of the Motion? their Lordships divided:—Contents 73; Not-Contents 46: Majority 27:—Bill read 2a accordingly, and committed to a Committee of the Whole House on Thursday next.

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