§ Sir J. D. REES
asked the Under-Secretary of State for India whether he is aware that the Department of Indian police is accorded worse terms of pension than any other service in India, although its duties are very arduous; that a person entering the Indian Civil Service at the age of twenty-one—twenty-three has his first pension due after twenty-five years of service and his full pension after twenty-five years, and can retire on pension at the age of forty-seven; that officials of the Public Works Department, the Telegraph Department, the Forest Department, and the Indian Medical Service can retire on pension at the age of forty or forty-one; whether officers of the Indian police entering at nineteen—twenty-one can receive a first pension only after thirty years' service, and cannot retire on pension until the age of fifty; whether he is aware that the pension available to officers of the Indian police has actually decreased in the last forty-three years from £479 3s. 4d. to £437 10s., notwithstanding the increased cost of living at the present time; and, if so, will he say when the recommendations of paragraph 87 of the Indian Police Commission, 1902–3, are likely to be accepted?
§ Mr. MONTAGU
I assume that the hon. Member's inquiries are concerned with ordinary pensions, and my answer is therefore confined to these. It will be understood that in each of the Services mentioned an officer if invalided can retire on pension at a far earlier age. An officer appointed in this country to the Indian Police must be within the ages of nineteen and twenty-one at the time of appointment. The police scale of pensions is identical with that of civil departments other than the Indian Civil Service, but police officers are required to serve thirty years to earn the full ordinary pension of Rs. 5,000. Officers of the Public Works, Telegraph, Forest, and Geological Survey Departments (but not those of other Civil Departments) may retire voluntarily on a pension of Rs. 4,000 after twenty years'58W service. Service in these exceptionally treated departments begins at a later age than in the police. Indian medical officers can retire on a pension of £300 after seventeen years' service, but these may be as old as twenty-eight, and are seldom younger than twenty-five, on first appointment. The hon. Member's statement about the Indian Civil Service is not quite accurate. Under the present rules a candidate for the Indian Civil Service must be between the ages of twenty-two and twenty-four at the time of the open competition, and receives one year's training in this country before actual appointment. He can retire after twenty-five years' total service, provided that twenty-one of those years have been spent in active service. Thus he cannot have rendered twenty-five years' service until he is forty-eight, and it frequently happens that by that age he has not rendered twenty-one years' active service. It is true that the rupee pension of the police and of other civil officers (now converted into sterling at the special rate of 1s. 9d.) represents less in sterling than it did forty-three years ago. This special rate was introduced in 1900; the sterling value of the rupee pension is higher than it was at any time between 1879 and 1900, the period during which most of the senior police officers joined. I am not able at present to express any opinion on the prospect of the acceptance of the recommendation of the Indian Police Commission as regards age of retirement.