§ [SECOND READING.]
§ Order of the Day for the Second Reading read.
THE UNDER-SECRETARY OF STATE FOR THE COLONIES (LORD LUCAS)
My Lords, this is a simplifying and consolidating Bill dealing with the pensions of Governors, and in spite of the rather misleading short title of the Bill it would apply practically to ex-Governors of Crown Colonies and only in rare cases to ex-Governors of Dominions. Your Lordships will find in Clause 1 the qualifications that a Governor has to possess for a pension. I may mention that we have somewhat shortened the qualifying period, bringing it down to ten years. Clause 2 gives the method by which the pension is to be assessed. With regard to that, I may say that there has been a slight revision of the present classification of the various classes of Governorships. Hitherto they have been classified by the amount of the salary, but now we take into consideration certain other things, particularly the difficulties and responsibilities and also the climate of the place. I think that the alteration proposed is a considerable improvement on the present system. Clause 2 shows how the pension is assessed, and your Lordships will see that it is by that method assessed directly on the actual work that has been done, the actual posts that have been filled, in these different classes of Governorships. That is not taken into account under the present system except very indirectly, because the pension is assessed entirely from the highest post that the Governor may have held. You might have one man who had spent the whole of his eighteen qualifying years in the most important Governorships in Class 1 and another man who had been fourteen years out of the eighteen in unimportant Governorships and only four years in Class 1 Governorships; yet at the end of that time both men would be drawing the same pension. Under this Bill that cannot be done, because each Governorship that has been filled by the Governor is taken into account in assessing his pension. We have raised the maximum of the salary from £1,000 to £1,300, which brings Governorships on a par with other important offices held under the State to which these Governorships are comparable. It is not by any means every Governor who will draw the full £1,300, and although 1124 Governors will be very much better treated under this Bill than they are at the present time, it is not computed that it will entail a very large increased charge on public funds. In fact, on the total amount which is charged to public funds for this purpose—something between £11,000 and £12,000—it is thought that there will only be an increase of 5 per cent. as a result of this Bill. I beg to move.
§ Moved, That the Bill be now read 2a.—(Lord Lucas.)
§ On Question, Bill read 2a. and committed to a Committee of the Whole House To-morrow.