HL Deb 25 July 1898 vol 62 cc1092-5

Amendment proposed— Page 86, line 17, after 'clerk,' in two places insert 'or of any other officer.'"—(The Earl of Mayo.)


The officers that are affected by this clause are the officers of the various local bodies in Ireland who have served for many years, and who would be appointed under section 1 of the Act of 1868, called The Local Officers' Superannuation (Ireland) Act. What these officers are afraid of is, that owing to the extension of the franchise which permits of persons serving as aldermen, councillors, and township commissioners, though not ratepayers—for the service franchise permits of this—many of them will be dismissed for various reasons, in which event, if the dismissal takes place within five years, he will get compensation under clause 112, sub-clause 19, but, if he be dismissed at any time after the expiration of live years, he will not get one shilling compensation, no matter what, number of years he may have served, should the local body so decide. Therefore it is that officers like the treasurer of the City of Dublin, assistant town clerks, and other officials, wished to have the words "or other officers" inserted in clause 113, so that their rights may be protected after the expiration of five years from the passing of the Bill into law. They also want an appeal to the Local Government Board instead of to the Treasury, in the event of dispute as to the amount they should be fairly entitled to, as it is not the Treasury but the ratepayers who have to pay the salaries; and as clause 113 made the Local Government Board the judge of what is right as to increase of salary for increased duties, the officers submit that the question of the amount of superannuation or gratuity they should get should also be left to the arbitrament of the Local Government Board. To put the matter simply, the "other officers" say we ought not to be placed in a worse position than a town clerk to a borough or a clerk to township commissioners, many of whom have not the same responsibilities in the discharge of their duties nor length of service. To give one more instance, take the chief accountant and members of his staff of, say the Corporation of Dublin, Belfast, and the other boroughs scheduled in the Bill. I have put down on the Paper several Amendments with reference to clause 113, and I trust that the noble and learned Lord will allow them all to pass.


This is a clause which deals with the case of the existing town clerks of the borough or clerks to the commissioners of the town, and the Amendments sought to be accomplished in that clause by my noble Friend are three in number. He seeks to extend the clause from the particular class for whom it was intended to a wide and general class whom he calls "any other officers." That, of course, is not reasonable to the principles of the Bill. There is a part of the Bill that deals with the general class that may be affected, and that are mentioned in the last schedule dealing with compensation, and I do not think it is reasonable to take a clause that is intended for a narrow class and seek to apply it to a great many others. Then my Friend's second objection is one that we have been hearing about in other cases—the getting rid of a five years' limit that is put into this clause. But, having regard to the tenure of these particular officers, and having regard to the reasons that I have already given, I am unable to assent to the arguments which he has advanced. As to the point by which he seeks to substitute the Local Government Board for the Treasury, that is a question more or less of a choice of tribunals, and my noble Friend does not seek in the least to avoid the reasonableness of having a perfectly competent and reliable body to be arbitrators in case of a difference of opinion. I think it is not unreasonable to use the Treasury for that purpose, and I do not think anything would be gained by the substitution of the Local Government Board. It may be seen almost all through the clause that the functions of both the Treasury and the Local Government Board are kept steadily in mind.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Motion made and Question put— That clause 113 stand part of the Bill.

Agreed to

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