HL Deb 24 August 1893 vol 16 cc933-5

asked the Secretary of State for India if he had made any progress towards obtaining a salary for the Lord President out of the British Exchequer? He said that when he last put a question to the noble Earl upon this subject of his salary as Lord President, at the same time complimenting him upon the performance of Ills duties as Secretary for India and as Lord President, he did so on behalf of the people of India. He now asked the same question on behalf of the people of this country. An opinion was generally prevalent that unpaid services were not valuable, and that the absence of salary and irresponsibility went together. The noble Earl had already told the House that he was able to discharge his functions and duties as Lord President through his Vice President; but, at the same time, the noble Earl ought not to have taken advantage of his connection with India to have borrowed a man-eating tiger to turn loose into the Education Office. The noble Earl had been in the House for about 45 years. In the early part of his career he served the country with advantage in many places. He did good service in St. Petersburg. He had also boon Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, and in his time there wore no riots in Belfast. His noble Friend also had always acted with responsibility and with dignity, whether as Colonial Secretary or as Secretary for India; and the way in which the Duke of Richmond had complimented him in that House upon the manner in which he had conducted a Licensing Bill would be in their Lordships' recollection. Under those circumstances, he must entreat his noble Friend not to allow his great reputation to be muddled away by the proceedings of his Vice President —he would not say "wrecked," because wrecking a reputation would only apply in such a case as the Prime Minister's—gambling away his position and sacrificing everything in his endeavours to pass the Home Rule Bill. When he last brought this subject forward he was written to by the editor of a Tory paper that it was not desirable to press the matter, because the public might not get, in the noble Earl's place, so good a man as Lord President. But he differed from that opinion, and would prefer one of Mr. Frederick Harrison's chimney sweeps as Lord President, because, if so, there would be nobody to support the Vice President in the injurious course he was pursuing. However, he would not speak further of the Vice President on this occasion, because he had a Notice on the Paper for going into the subject. His noble Friend had had so much to do with the India Office that he had become very autocratic. He would again urge the noble Earl to obtain a salary as Lord President of the Council, as distinct from his other Office of Secretary of State for India. If he would do that the grievance felt in India in this matter of the payment of salary to the Secretary of State for India would be removed. His own view was that the noble Earl should have both.


My Lords, I ought really to be grateful to my noble Friend for his strenuous exertions to obtain for me au increase of salary; but I do not quite perceive by what logical deduction he arrives at the conclusion that I should have greater influence over the Vice President if I received a larger salary than I do now. The noble Lord has described the Vice President in a way not quite Parliamentary. He has gone the length of calling him a Bengal tiger. I can only suppose that the noble Lord thinks I am, as Indian Secretary, so greatly influenced by Indian traditions that I have actually chosen as Vice President a gentleman having as many qualities of a wild beast as can be found in a man. Whatever the idea of the noble Lord may be with regard to that, I regret to have to tell him that I have made no progress at all in the direction of obtaining a salary as President of the Council. I further wish to assure my noble Friend that whatever may be the correct description of the Vice President I have complete confidence in that gentleman, and fully approve the course which he has taken in educational matters.


My Lords, I do not think the noble Earl has quite understood why objection is taken to his self-denying ordinance with respect to his salary. The result of his not receiving the salary attached to the Office of President of the Council is that he occupies a kind of detached position, and that it creates in him a merely philosophic disposition in connection with all that takes place in the Education Office. If we cannot persuade the noble Earl to obtain this salary of £2,000 a year, which, I think, would revive the noble Earl's zeal in the cause of English education, I would suggest that as the noble Earl's payment from India has such a philosophic effect upon his mind it might be well to try the experiment of paying Mr. Acland's salary out of Indian Revenues also. That course might have a useful effect upon his mind, and the result might be a lightening of the burden imposed on voluntary schools at the present moment.


said, as the noble Earl seemed to think he ought not to take a salary from the British Exchequer, perhaps he should not take one from the Indian Treasury either.