§ MR. KIMBER (Wandsworth)
I beg to ask the First Lord of the Treasury whether the Treasury have decided that the late Treasurer of the County of Middlesex, who had held that appointment for 18 years until the office became abolished on the London County Council coming' into existence, is not entitled to any compensation, notwithstanding that he was, in the words of the Local Government Act, Section 120—An existing officer who by virtue of this Act, or anything done in pursuance of or in consequence of this Act, suffers direct pecuniary loss by abolition of office or by diminution or loss of fees or salary;if so, on what grounds was such decision arrived at; whether the opinion of the Law Officers was taken upon the question; and, if so, whether the Government would allow such opinions to be perused by the late Treasurer; whether the following grounds, to which among others the above-quoted section directed that regard should be had, namely, the nature of his office (virtually a life appointment), the duration of his service (18 years), and all other circumstances of the case, were duly considered by the Treasury before arriving at their decision; and if the Government consider for any technical reason that the case is not within the Act, will the Government in any future Bill propose enactments to remedy the omission?
§ * MR. W. H. SMITH
The office of Treasurer of the County of Middlesex has not been abolished, but Mr. Allen has been removed from it. He held the office under the provisions of the Act 12 George II., cap. 29, and the 11th section of that Act gives power to the Court of Quarter Sessions to remove the Treasurer at pleasure. This power is, by the Local Government Act, transferred to the County Council, whose officer the Treasurer had become. The exercise of the power of removal given by the earlier Statute was not anything done in pursuance of the Local Government Act, and that Act, therefore, did not give the Treasury any power to award compensation to Mr. Allen. The Law Officers of the Crown were consulted in the matter, but their opinions are confidential documents, and I cannot undertake to present them. Nor am I prepared to introduce a Bill to extend the power of compensation given to the Treasury by the 120th section of the Local Government Act.