§ 1. Motion made, and Question proposed, "That a sum not exceeding £381,333, be granted to His Majesty, to complete the sum necessary to defray the Charge which will come in course of payment during the year ending on the 84 31st day of March 1904, for Stationery, Printing, Paper, Binding, and Printed Books for the Public Service; to pay the Salaries and Expenses of the Stationery Office; and for sundry Miscellaneous Services, including Reports of Parliamentary Debates."
§ CAPT. SINCLAIR (Forfar)
called attention to the change which had been made in the indexing of Hansard. The system of indexing which, during the last four or five years had given some satisfaction, had this year been changed. Possibly it was due to a desire to economise in the printing and publishing of the Debates, but he submitted that in the important matter of the record of its own proceedings, Parliament ought to be able to lay down some general rules by which some degree of continuity would be ensured. Heads of reference which had appeared in former years were now omitted, and new heads had been introduced. This would certainly cause difficulty and confusion in referring to the records of past years, and he hoped the Secretary to the Treasury would give the matter his attention.
§ MR. DALZIEL (Kirkcaldy Burghs)
asked whether there was not a motion for the reduction of the Vote before the Committee.
said that with the adjournment all motions for reduction; dropped, and the subject was started afresh at the evening sitting.
§ MR. CLAUDE HAY (Shoreditch, Hoxton)
said that in that case he would repeat the Motion he made at the morning sitting, viz., to reduce the Vote by £100. If it was alleged that the contract of which he complained was open to the whole country, and that therefore the scale of wages which obtained in London did not apply, why had that scale of wages been applied to this contract, and a preference given to a firm which was not a London firm in the true sense of the term, but one which had works in the country and was consequently able to compete unfairly with London firms whose works were in London? He wished to know if this contract was thrown open to all the printers of the country, and, if so, he should like to know the names of a few of the non- 85 London firms who competed. There must be something very strange indeed about this contract in view of the fact that the wages in London at the time the contract was made were 38s. per week, as against 28s. per week in Reading. It was very singular that country firms were not able to tender upon a basis which would have enabled them to compete favourably. The real crux of the question was that, while other firms based their tenders upon the London scale of wages, this firm was allowed to base its tender upon the Reading scale of wages, and therefore a very unfair advantage was obtained over other printers who had not two sets of works, one in London and the other in Reading. He hoped his hon. friend would not repeat the assurance given to them last year, but would make some definite statement as to the intention of the Government. They had always understood that the whole arrangement was framed upon general principles, and surely some very distinct and special scheme might be adopted under which no contractor having the advantages which he had indicated would be able to drive a coach and four, not only through the intentions of the officers whose business it was to conduct negotiations, but also through what had been a very serious principle established by a Vote of the House. He hoped the Government would be able to make such arrangements as would prevent any particular contractor defeating the great principle which Parliament had laid down. He begged to move a reduction of this Vote by £100.
§ Whereupon Motion made, and Question proposed, "That a sum, not exceeding £381,233, be granted for the said service."—(Mr. Claude Hay.)
§ THE FINANCIAL SECRETARY TO THE TREASURY (Mr. ELLIOT, Durham)
said that with reference to the question raised by his hon. and gallant friend the Member for Forfar, the change which had been made in the indexing of Hansard was done with a desire to economise, and to get the work done better than it had been done before, and done by more competent hands. In the particular case to which 86 the hon. and gallant Member had referred, he believed that a change had been made for the better, and, as time went on, he thought it would be found that the House would gain considerably by the change. To this cause was no doubt due the modification and the alteration in the system of indexing. It was, however, most important that the indexing should be carried out on the same general lines as before. With reference to the remarks which fell from the hon. Member for Shoreditch, he had little to add to what he said upon this question of the Fair Wages Resolution before the adjournment. His hon. friend; stated that there had been some breach of the Fair Wages Resolution passed by the House in 1901, but his hon. friend had not brought forward any specific cases to show that either the Government or the contractors have been unwilling to carry out the Resolution. His hon. friend seemed to think that, in some way or another, this contract had been limited to firms in London, but that was not so, and it would be a most undesirable and improper course to take if they insisted upon any such condition.
§ MR. CLAUDE HAY
asked if the hon. Gentleman could give the name of any firm outside London who tendered for this contract.
§ MR. ELLIOT
said he did not think it was desirable to give the names of those firms who were unsuccessful, and he did not see what would be gained by giving such information. His hon. friend contended that there had been a breach of the Resolution passed by the House, and be would ask him to define clearly what that breach was. In the absence of any evidence that this rule had been broken he had a right to hold that it was unbroken. He could only repeat the assurance given by his predecessors that if any specific cases where there had been any breach of the Fair Wages Resolution by the contractor were brought forward, the Government were willing to investigate them and set matters right.
§ MR. CLAUDE HAY
said that the contract for the Debates had been made on the basis of a rate of wages of 38s. per week, 87 whereas the present contract was actually being carried out in a district where the wages were 28s. per week. Therefore the Government paid the full amount and the contractor got the difference of 10s. per week in the rate of wages.
§ MR. ELLIOT
said he did not agree with the hon. Member's statement that the contract was made upon one basis and carried out upon another. The present contractors had a place of business in London, and it was almost an absurd suggestion to say that the contract must be carried out in that particular place where the contract was made. He did not wish in any way to disregard the Fair Wages Resolution which the House had adopted, but he claimed that the Government had a right to ask for specific cases where a breach had taken place to be brought before them, and if this course were adopted, the Government would do their best to set matters right.
§ MR. STUART WORTLEY (Sheffield, Hallam)
referred to the indexing of Hansard and the efficiency of reporting
§ the debates. There was only one word which described the principle upon which Hansard was indexed; it was "exasperating," due to a principle of economy which was always interfering with the efficiency of this public service. His hon. friend the Financial Secretary to the Treasury said that arrangements had been made for getting the indexing and reporting done in a more efficient manner, and he also said in a more economical way. The energies of the House should be directed to making the service connected with Hansard good rather than cheap, and a model to all other publications of public utility. It was too soon to speak of the new system of indexing, but unless it was a departure from the old system it would be of no use. If the same cheese-paring want of cross references was allowed to interfere with its efficiency the thing would be no better in the future than in the past.
§ Question put.
§ The Committee divided:—Ayes,55; Noes, 109. (Division List, No. 63.)89
|Allan, Sir William (Gateshead)||Hardie, J. Keir (Merthyr Tyd||Samuel, S. M. (Whitechapel)|
|Allen, Chas. P. (Glos., Stroud)||Harmsworth, R. Leicester||Shackleton, David James|
|Bayley, Thomas (Derbyshire)||Horniman, Frederick John||Shaw, Charles E. (Stafford)|
|Black, Alexander William||Hutchinson, Dr. Charles Fredk.||Shipman, Dr. John G.|
|Bolton, Thomas Dolling||Jones, William (Carnarvonshire||Soares, Ernest J.|
|Brigg, John||Kearley, Hudson E||Strachey, Sir Edward|
|Brown, Geo. M. (Edinburgh)||Kitson, Sir James||Sullivan, Donal|
|Burt, Thomas||Levy, Maurice||Taylor, Theodore C. (Radcliffe)|
|Caldwell, James||M'Kenna, Reginald||Walton, Joseph (Barnsley)|
|Causton, Richard Knight||M'Laren, Sir Charles Benj.||Weir, James Galloway|
|Channing, Francis Allston||Mansfield, Horace Rendall||White, Luke (York, E. R.)|
|Dalziel, James Henry||Morgan, J. Lloyd (Carmarthen)||Whitley, J. H. (Halifax)|
|Dewar, John A. (Inverness-sh.)||Partington, Oswald||Whittaker, Thomas Palmer|
|Doogan, P. C.||Pearson, Sir Weetman D.||Wilson, H. J. (York, W. R.)|
|Evans, Saml. T. (Glamorgan)||Perks, Robert William||Wilson, John (Durham, Mid)|
|Farquharson, Dr. Robert||Price, Robert John|
|Fenwick, Charles||Rea, Russell||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—Mr. Claude Hay and Mr Bell.|
|Fitzmaurice, Lord Edmond||Rigg, Richard|
|Fuller, J. M. F.||Roe, Sir Thomas|
|Grant, Corrie||Samuel, Herbert L. (Cleveland)|
|Agg-Gardner, James Tynte||Bathurst, Hon. Allen Benj.||Cochrane, Hon. Thos. H.A.E.|
|Agnew, Sir Andrew-Noel||Bignold, Arthur||Cook, Sir Frederick Lucas|
|Allhusen, Aug. Henry Eden||Bigwood, James||Corbett, T. L. (Down, North)|
|Anson, Sir William Reynell||Blundell, Colonel Henry||Cox, Irwin Edward Bainbridge|
|Arnold-Forster, Hugh O.||Bond, Edward||Craig, Charles Curtis (Antrim, S.|
|Atkinson, Rt. Hon. John||Brymer, William Ernest||Cripps, Charles Alfred|
|Bain, Colonel James Robert||Carvill, Patrick Geo. Hamilton||Crossley, Sir Savile|
|Balcarres, Lord||Cavendish, V. C. W. (Derbyshire||Denny, Colonel|
|Balfour, Rt Hn Gerald W. (Leeds||Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor)||Dickson, Charles Scott|
|Balfour, Kenneth R. (Christch||Chamberlain, Rt Hn J. A. (Worc.||Duke, Henry Edward|
|Banbury, Sir Frederick George||Charrington, Spencer||Durning-Lawrence, Sir Edwin|
|Elliot, Hon. A. Ralph Douglas||Hutton, John (Yorks, N. R.)||Rankin, Sir James|
|Fellowes, Hon. Ailwyn Edward||Johnstone, Heywood||Reid, James (Greenock)|
|Fergusson, Rt Hn. Sir J. (Manc'r||Laurie, Lieut.-General||Roberts, John Bryn (Eifion)|
|Finch, Rt. Hon. George H.||Law, Andrew Bonar (Glasgow}||Robertson, Herbert (Hackney)|
|Finlay, Sir Robert Bannatyne||Lawson, John Grant||Royds, Clement Molyneux|
|Fitzroy, Hon. Edw. Algernon||Legge, Col. Hon. Heneage||Seely, Charles Hilton (Lincoln)|
|Flower, Ernest||Leveson-Gower, Fredk. N. S.||Spear, John Ward|
|Forster, Henry William||Long, Col. Chas. W. (Evesham||Stanley, Hon. Arthur (Ormskirk|
|Foster, Philip S. (Warwick. S. W||Long, Rt. Hn. Walter (Bristol, S||Stanley, Lord (Lancs.)|
|Fyler, John Arthur||Lonsdale, John Brownlee||Taylor, Austin (East Toxteth)|
|Galloway, William Johnson||Lucas, Col. Francis (Lowestoft)||Tomlinson, Sir. Wm. Edw. M.|
|Gardner, Ernest||Lucas, Reginald J. (Portsmouth)||Tritton, Charles Ernest|
|Godson, Sir Augustus Frederick||Macdona, John Cumming||Tuke, Sir John Batty|
|Gordon, Hn. J. E. (Elgin&Nairn||M'Calmont, Colonel James||Valentia, Viscount|
|Greene, Sir E.W. (Bury St. Ed.||M'Killop, James (Stirlingshire||Walrond, Rt Hn. Sir William H.|
|Greene, W. Raymond (Cambs||Majendie, James A. H.||Warde, Colonel C. E.|
|Gretton, John||Mildmay, Francis Bingham||Wilson, A. S. (York, E. R.)|
|Hamilton, Rt Hn Lord G (Midd'x||Milvain, Thomas||Wilson, John (Falkirk)|
|Harris, Frederick Leverton||Morgan, D. J. (Walthamstow)||Worsley-Taylor, Henry Wilson|
|Haslam, Sir Alfred S.||Mowbray, Sir Robt. Gray C.||Wortley, Rt. Hon. C. B. Stuart|
|Haslett, Sir James Horner||Muntz, Sir Philip A.||Wrightson, Sir Thomas|
|Heath, Arthur H. (Hanley)||Penn, John||Wyndham, Rt. Hon. George|
|Heath, James (Stafford. N. W.||Percy, Earl|
|Helder, Augustus||Pilkington, Lt.-Col. Richard||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—Sir Alexander Acland-Hood and Mr. Anstruther.|
|Hermon-Hodge, Sir Robert T.||Powell, Sir Francis Sharp|
|Hickman, Sir Alfred||Pretyman, Ernest George|
|Houston, Robert Paterson||Purvis, Robert|
§ Original Question again proposed.
§ MR. WHITLEY (Halifax)
said he wished to draw attention to the magnitude of this Vote. Although there was a net decrease of £68,000 they had by no means got back to the before the war expenditure. On referring to the figures for the year 1899–1900 he found that, in spite of this small reduction, the Vote still remained £100,000 above the expenditure of that year. He thought that the Stationery Department was one of the most extravagant of all the Departments whose Estimates were laid before the Committee. At any rate, it was one of those Departments where there was the greatest room for saving, and he hoped the new Secretary to the Treasury would take the opportunity of employing his energies in trying to reduce the heavy expenditure they were now asked to pass. Before the war the Vote used to run about £570,000; this year it was £701,000. He intended to move the reduction of the Vote, but before doing so he should like to say a word or two as to the quality of the reporting of Hansard. It must be in the knowledge of many Members that almost every newspaper in the country had a much higher quality of reporting than the House got under the Hansard contract. He supposed it was because the contractor did 90 not pay sufficiently high salaries to command the quality of men who could do the condensation necessary to bring the speeches within the required length. It was one thing to report a speaker verbatim; it was a very different thing, and required a superior man, to be able to condense a speech into one third of its actual length and yet give the main purport of the speech. There was a very general complaint that the quality of the reporting done under the Hansard contract was very much inferior to the general reporting in the newspaper Press, and he did not see any reason why that should be so. If proper salaries were paid to the staff to do the work the contractor would be able to command the services of men who would give, not length, because it was not a question of the length of the report, but quality of condensation in those reports. He would like the Secretary of the Treasury to give the Committee, if he could, the exact figure of the increased cost caused by the new rule with regard to unstarred Questions, and how much of that cost might be saved if the Questions and Answers were printed continuously and on both sides of the paper, as the questions were printed on the Orders of the Day, instead of each Question and Answer occupying a separate sheet of paper. He begged to move the reduction of the Vote by £200.
§ Motion made, and Question proposed, "That a sum, not exceeding £381,133, be granted for the said service."ߞ(Mr. Whitley.)
§ MR. ELLIOT
, who was indistinctly heard in the Press gallery, sad he was not surprised that the hon. Member complained that the Estimates, now that the war was at an end, had not fallen in so large a ratio as he would have expected. The Stationery Department was every year doing more and more, because in one way and another greater demands were made upon it. All sorts of Returns were asked for, and the printing of these involved greater expenditure. He found there was a considerably increased demand on the part of hon. Members to be supplied with the Hansard debates. The fact of the matter with reference to the Vote at large was, that if they looked around they would see that a greatly increased business had now to be done, and he believed it would be extremely difficult very largely to reduce the Vote, but he dared say that something might be done in this direction by care and by closely looking into details. But the Committee must not lose sight of the fact that it was an increasing business that the Department was doing, and that, consequently, they must expect a certain increase in the expenses. As to the reporting of Hansard, it was good that the Committee should know what the views of hon. Members were. Personally, he was very strongly opposed to to the notion of anything like official reporting. Official reporting seemed to involve verbatim reporting, and the reporting of every word of every speech of every Member would make Hansard a more overwhelming, a more appalling publication than it was at present. He did not think the official reporting of their debates in Parliament had reached anything like a pitch of perfection, and therefore he welcomed the remarks of the hon. Member, and hoped they might do good, and tend to improve the way in which the work of Hansard was done. As to the hon. Member's reference to unstarred Questions, he would remind him that it was known perfectly well that to adopt the practice now in force would be a very expensive business. 92 But there was great pressure on the part of the House in that direction, and the Government had only carried out the wishes of the House. His own opinion was that the change in the system of dealing with Questions was a change immensely for the better.
§ MR. DALZIEL
said the Committee were indebted to the hon. Member for Halifax for drawing attention to the increase which was going on with reference to the Stationery Department Vote. The subject of the Hansard reports was one which was raised almost every year when opportunity presented itself. His hon. friend had complained of the quality of the reporting. He himself could speak altogether without prejudice, because he had never once opened the proofs of his speeches which had been sent to him, because it did not interest him to read his own speeches. The present system of reporting the debates was of no value whatever to the House. What value could be attached to the reports when Members were permitted to take a half column out of their speeches and insert another, perhaps more pleasing to their constituents? So long as they allowed Members to alter their speeches they could never have a report of the proceedings of the House which could be of any value. Under the present system the reporting was a farce. A Committee which sat to consider the matter some years ago recommended the adoption of the American system—namely, the employment by the State of its own reporters, and the publication of a journal every morning giving fully the speeches of all Members, official and private alike, but allowing no alterations. Only to such a record could any reliability be attached. They should have a permanent and well-paid staff of reporters, and he hoped the new Secretary to the Treasury would look into this matter. By having a permanent staff of reporters, who would retain their situations irrespective of any change of contractors, they would be able to get the best men for the work they had to perform. The Stationery Department Estimates required, above all others, to be carefully scrutinised, and he suggested that the Treasury should appoint three or four 93 experts to do nothing else than check the printing in the different Departments. The hon. Member complained of the delay which took place in the supply of Parliamentary papers because the printers did not do their work in time. The papers were supplied to the printers in plenty of time, but the delay in printing occurred on account of one or two particular firms getting too much of the work to do. He hoped the Secretary to the Treasury would keep in mind that this inconvenience might be obviated by a greater division of the labour. They ought not to be tied to any particular printer.
§ SIR J. FERGUSSON (Manchester, N. E.)
did not agree with the view of the hon. Member for the Kirkcaldy Burghs that the report of a speech was of no value unless it was given as delivered. The great models of Parliamentary eloquence in former times were not reported in the way speeches were now reported. Did the hon. Member suppose that the speeches of Burke were printed as they were spoken House? In those days reporting in the House was illegal, and Burke accordingly sent the manuscripts of his speeches to the Press. If speeches were recorded as delivered there would be so many "hums" and "haws" in the report that it would astonish the speaker. He was not sure that the present system was not the most convenient, because under it the reporters were able to produce in a consecutive form a speech which might be some what broken in delivery.
MR. BRYN ROBERTS (Carnarvonshire, Eifion)
complained that a Blue-book containing some of the dispatches with reference to the negotiations before the war had been out of print for months and could not be obtained anywhere. It was a Blue-book for which there was a great demand.
§ LORD HUGH CECIL (Greenwich)
said that many Members had expressed a great deal of discontent at the present condition of the Parliamentary reporting, They were often made to talk nonsense, and even to say precisely the opposite to what they did say. He agreed with his right hon. friend that a verbatim report would sometimes be hard on the speaker, but there was a certain consolation in seeing one's own "hums" and "haws" and not those invented by a reporter. The ideal would be to have reporters of such intelligence as to be able to put in felicitous language what a speaker intended to say, but if that ideal was not attainable, then it was desirable that the speaker should not be made to show an ignorance greater even than he really did show and to use arguments which, from what he had previously said, were evidently contradictory. He protested also against the burden thrown on Members of correcting the reports sent to them, He hoped his hon. Friend the Secretary to the Treasury would give this subject his attention.
§ Question put.
§ The Committee divided:—Ayes, 58; Noes, 112. (Division List No. 64.)95
|Allan, Sir William (Gateshead)||Bayley, Thomas (Derbyshire)||Bolton, Thomas Dolling|
|Allen, Chas. P. (Glos., Stroud)||Bell, Richard||Brigg, John|
|Banbury, Sir Frederick George||Black, Alexander William||Brown, George M, (Edinburgh)|
|Buchanan, Thomas Ryburn||Levy, Maurice||Sinclair, John (Forfarshire)|
|Caldwell, James||M'Kenna, Reginald||Scares, Ernest J.|
|Causton, Richard Knight||M'Laren, Sir Charles Benjamin||Strachey, Sir Edward|
|Cecil, Lord Hugh (Greenwich)||Malcolm, Ian||Sullivan, Donal|
|Channing, Francis Allston||Mansfield, Horace Rendall||Taylor, Theo. C. (Radcliffe)|
|Dewar, John A. (Inverness-sh.)||Partington, Oswald||Walton, Joseph (Barnsley)|
|Doogan, P. C.||Pearson, Sir Weetman D.||Wason, Eugene (Clackmannan|
|Farquharson, Dr. Robert||Price, Robert John||Wason, John Cathcart (Orkney|
|Fenwick, Charles||Priestley, Arthur||Weir, James Galloway|
|Gladstone, Rt. Hn. Herbert J.||Rea, Russell||White, Luke (York, E. R.)|
|Griffith, Ellis J.||Rigg, Richard||Whittaker, Thomas Palmer|
|Harms worth, R. Leicester||Roberts, John Bryn (Eifion)||Wilson, Henry J. (York, W.R.)|
|Helme, Norval Watson||Roe, Sir Thomas||Wilson, John (Durham, Mid)|
|Hemphill, Rt. Hon. Charles H.||Samuel, Herbert L. (Cleveland|
|Hutchinson, Dr Charles Fredk.||Samuel, S. M. (Whitechapel)||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—Mr. J. H. Whitley and Mr. Dalziel.|
|Jones, W. (Carnarvonshire)||Shackleton, David James|
|Kearley, Hudson E.||Shaw, Charles E. (Stafford)|
|Kitson, Sir James||Shipman, Dr. John G.|
|Agg-Gardner, James Tynte||Fitzroy, Hon. Edward Algernon||Morgan, David J. (Carmarthen|
|Agnew, Sir Andrew Noel||Flower, Ernest||Morrison, James Archibald|
|Allhusen, Aug. Henry Eden||Forster, Henry William||Mount, William Arthur|
|Anson, Sir William Reynell||Foster, Philip S. (Warwick, S. W.||Mowbray, Sir Robert Gray C.|
|Arnold-Forster, Hugh O.||Fyler, John Arthur||Muntz, Sir Philip A.|
|Atkinson, Rt. Hon. John||Galloway, William Johnson||Percy, Earl|
|Bagot, Capt.Josceline FitzRoy||Gardner, Ernest||Pierpoint, Robert|
|Bain, Colonel James Robert||Godson, Sir Augustus Fredk.||Pilkington, Colonel Richard|
|Balcarres, Lord||Gordon, Hn. J. E. (Elgin & Nrn||Powell, Sir Francis Sharp|
|Balfour, Rt Hn Gerald W. (Leeds||Gorst, Rt. Hon. Sir J. Eldon||Pretyman, Ernest George|
|Balfour, Kenneth R. (Christch||Greene, Sir E W (B'ry S Edm'nds||Purvis, Robert|
|Bathurst, Hon. Allen Benjamin||Greene, W. Raymond (Cambs.)||Quilter, Sir Cuthbert|
|Bentinck, Lord Henry C.||Gretton, John||Rankin, Sir James|
|Bignold, Arthur||Hamilton, Rt Hn Lord G (Midd'x||Reid, James (Greenock)|
|Bigwood, James||Harris, Frederick Leverton||Ridley, Hn. M. W. (Stalybridge|
|Blundell, Colonel Henry||Haslam, Sir Alfred S.||Robertson, Herbert (Hackney)|
|Bond, Edward||Hay, Hon. Claude George||Royds, Clement Molyneux|
|Brymer, William Ernest||Heath, Arthur Howard (Hanley||Seely, Charles Hilton (Lincoln)|
|Carvill, Patrick Geo. Hamilton||Heath, James (Staffords, N. W.||Seely, Maj. J. E.B (Isle of Wight|
|Cavendish, V. C. W. (Derbyshire||Hermon-Hodge, Sir Robert T.||Smith, Abel H. (Hertford, E.)|
|Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor)||Hutton, John (Yorks, N. R.||Spear, John Ward|
|Chamberlain, Rt Hn J. A. (Worc.||Johnstone, Heywood||Stanley, Hon. A. (Ormskirk)|
|Charrington, Spencer||Law, Andrew Bonar (Glasgow)||Stanley, Lord (Lanes.)|
|Cochrane, Hon. Thos. H. A. E.||Lawson, John Grant||Taylor, Austin (East Toxteth)|
|Compton, Lord Alwyne||Legge, Col. Hon. Heneage||Tomlinson, Sir Wm. Edw. M.|
|Corbett, T. L. (Down, North)||Leveson-Gower, Frederick N. S.||Tuke, Sir John Batty|
|Cox, Irwin Edward Bainbridge||Llewellyn, Evan Henry||Valentia, Viscount|
|Craig, Charles Curtis (Antrim, S.||Long, Rt. Hn. W. (Bristol, S||Walrond, Rt. Hn. Sir William H.|
|Cranborne, Viscount||Lonsdale, John Brownlee||Warde, Colonel C. E.|
|Crossley, Sir Savile||Lucas, Col. Francis (Lowestoft||Wilson, A. Stanley (York, E. R.|
|Denny, Colonel||Lucas, Reginald J. (Portsmouth||Wilson, John (Falkirk)|
|Dickson, Charles Scott||Macdona, John Cumming||Wortley, Rt. Hon. C. B. Stuart|
|Duke, Henry Edward||Maconochie, A. W.||Wrightson, Sir Thomas|
|Durning-Lawrence, Sir Edwin||M'Calmont, Colonel James||Wyndham, Rt. Hon. George|
|Elliot, Hon. A. Ralph Douglas||M'Killop, Jas. (Stirlingshire)|
|Fellowes, Hon. Ailwyn Ed.||Majendie, James A. H.||TELLERS FOR THE NOES—Sir Alexander Acland-Hood and Mr. Anstruther.|
|Fergusson, Rt Hn. Sir J. (Manc'r||Mildmay, Francis Bingham|
|Finch, Rt. Hon. George H.||Milvain, Thomas|
|Finlay, Sir Robert Bannatyne||Morgan, David J. (Walthamst'w|
Original Question put, and agreed to.
§ Motion made, and Question proposed, "That a sum, not exceeding £52,264, be granted to His Majesty, to complete the sum necessary to defray the Charge which will come in course of 96 payment during the year ending on the 31st day of March, 1904, for the Salaries and other Expenses in the Department of His Majesty's Treasury and Subordinate Departments, including Expenses in respect of Advances under The Light Railways Act, 1896."97
§ MR. DALZIEL
said that on page 88 there was a salary of £800 given to a British non-resident Director of the Suez Canal, and in a footnote it was stated that this gentleman received £950 per annum, paid by the Board of Superannuation, as late Deputy Master of the Mint. It would appear, therefore, that this gentleman, who had been retired as too old to undertake the responsible duty connected with the Mint, was immediately provided with another billet, carrying a salary of £800 per annum for discharging duties much more responsible than those from which he had been retired. Some explanation was due to the Committee in regard to this matter.
§ MR. CLAUDE HAY
said he wished to draw attention to the differentiation of the pay of upper division clerks in various Government Departments. He would like to know why the upper division clerks at the Board of Trade and the Local Government Board were paid so much less than similar clerks at the Treasury, the Home Office, and the Colonial Office. All of them had to pass the same examination, and their qualifications were equal. As Bill after Bill became law each session, new responsibilities were thrown on the clerks at the Board of Trade and the Local Government Board, and their duties were certainly as important as those carried out by the Home Office and the Colonial Office clerks. It was generally known that gentlemen who had influence were placed in the more favourable offices. He hoped that a Departmental Committee would consider the matter of levelling up the salaries of the upper division clerks at the Board of Trade 98 and the Local Government Board to those of the Treasury, the Home Office, and Colonial Office; or, if not, of levelling the latter down to the scale of the former.
MR. DEWAR (Inverness)
said he wished to draw attention to a small matter on page87,under the Exchequer Department in Scotland. He found that the chief clerk was receiving £650 per annum, although the maximum salary of the office should be only £600; and in a footnote it was stated that the same gentleman received £150 as Secretary to the Congested Districts Board. He objected to a chief clerk dividing his attention between two such entirely different Departments. He did not think it could add to the efficiency of the Exchequer Office, and he was perfectly certain it prevented efficiency at the Congested Districts Board. He begged to move, as a protest, the reduction of the Vote by £100.
§ Motion made, and Question put, "That a sum, not exceeding £52,164, be granted for the said service."—(Mr. Dewar.)
§ MR. WEIR (Ross and Cromarty)
said he was glad that his hon. friend had brought this very serious question before the Committee, and he hoped that the hon. Gentleman would not withdraw his Motion. This clerk was engaged by the Exchequer Office in Scotland, but was taken away to discharge duties in another Department which would absorb the whole of his time. He objected altogether to this system of dual offices, and he hoped that the new Financial Secretary would put a stop to it.
§ MR. ELLIOT
said he did not profess to be well acquainted with the specific duties of the Chief Clerk in the Exchequer Office in Scotland, and he could only say he would look carefully into the matter and see whether the present arrangement was one which ought to be continued in the future. In reference to the matter of the Directorship of the Suez Canal being given to the late Deputy Master of the Mint, he could only say that the appointment had given general satisfaction. His hon. friend had raised a point as to levelling up the salaries of different clerks in different offices, [Mr. HAY: Or leveling down.] but he would remind his hon. friend that these salaries were carefully gone over from time to time.
said he certainly thought it would be dangerous to pass the Vote with the footnote attached.
§ Mr. CLAUDE HAY
said the Secretary to the Treasury had not answered his question. He had told them that the salaries were not fixed but were subject to alteration from time to time. What he understood was that the pay in the Colonial Office, the Home Office, and the Treasury, for the first and second grades was sensibly better than that under the Board of Trade and the Local Government Board. Was there any intention of revising the pay of these offices in accordance with the recommendation of the Ridley Commission, which in this case at any rate had been departed from by the Treasury? Would the question of levelling up or down, as the case might be, be favourably considered by the Departmental Committee promised by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, with respect to the 100 duties of the Local Government Board and the Board of Trade?
§ MR. DALZIEL
hoped that before another year came round the hon. Gentleman would look into this matter and try and make the Vote more acceptable to the Committee. He would like to point out that one gentleman who received a Government pension of £950 a year acted as a non-resident Suez Canal director, with an additional £800 a year, and that he was also a Secretary to the British Embassy, and a commercial attaché in France, in Belgium, and in Switzerland. How could he act in three different countries and satisfactorily perform the duties of the five different offices?
§ MR. WHITLEY
said there appeared to be something mysterious about these Suez Canal directors. They were appointed and paid in a different manner, and seeing that one of them held five different offices, surely the matter was one deserving of investigation at the hands of the Secretary to the Treasury. There must be plenty of persons capable of filling these places without it being necessary to appoint to them persons who had already served full time in their own Departments and had retired on honourable pensions.
§ MR. ELLIOT
was understood to say in reply that the arrangement was in no way opposed to the prime interests of this country. In answer to the hon. Member for the Shoreditch Division of Hoxton, he could only say that the Departmental Committee appointed a short time ago would have to take into consideration the question of the 101 differences of pay in different Departments and make recommendations thereupon.
§ MR. DALZIEL
was surprised and disappointed that the hon. Gentleman had become so excellent an official in so short a time. From the manner in which he had spoken one would think he had been at the Treasury thirty years. They certainly had expected him to give them some grounds for hoping for a better state of things. When he remembered the enthusiasm with which the hon Gentleman used to attack anything in the nature of a job from below the gangway, he had hoped that the new Secretary to the Treasury would have undertaken to give close attention to these matters. He had not convinced the Committee that a paid Secretary to the Embassy at Paris could be a director of the Suez Canal, and at the same time look after the commercial interests of this country in France, Belgium, and Switzerland. He was surprised and disappointed that the hon. Member should have taken so small a view of the duties of commercial attachés whose task it was to look out for trade and to watch our vast commercial interests.
§ The Deputy Master of the Mint, who had recently retired on a pension of £950, had been appointed a director of the Suez Canal with a salary of £800 a year. If he had been a humbler individual, the probability was that his pension would have been reduced proportionately, but that had not been done in this case. He totally disagreed with the hon. Gentleman when he told them that the duties of the five offices held by one gentleman could be satisfactorily performed by an official resident in Paris.
§ MR. CLAUDE HAY
complained that the vague reply made had not answered his question why the recommendation of the Ridley Commission had been departed from, and why uniformity had not been introduced into the salaries in the several Departments he had referred to. He was not satisfied to be put off with a few vague phrases to the effect that the matter would be considered next year.
§ Question put.
§ Committee divided:—Ayes, 49; Noes 115, (Division List No. 65.)103
|Allan, Sir William (Gateshead)||Hayne, Rt. Hon. Charles Seale-||Samuel, S. M. (Whitechapel)|
|Allen, Chas. P. (Glos., Stroud)||Helme, Norval Watson||Shaw, Charles E. (Stafford)|
|Bell, Richard||Hutchinson, Dr. Charles Fredk.||Shipman, Dr. John G.|
|Black, Alexander William||Jones, W. (Carnarvonshire)||Sinclair, John (Forfarshire)|
|Bolton, Thomas Dolling||Kitson, Sir James||Soares, Ernest J.|
|Brigg, John||Leese, Sir Jos. F. (Accrington)||Taylor, Theodore C. (Radcliffe|
|Brown, George M. (Edinburgh||Levy, Maurice||Wason, John Cathcart (Orkney|
|Buchanan, Thomas Ryburn||Lough, Thomas||Weir, James Galloway|
|Caldwell, James||M'Laren, Sir Charles Benj.||White, Luke (York, E. R.)|
|Causton, Richard Knight||Mansfield, Horace Rendall||Whitley, J. H. (Halifax)|
|Channing, Francis Allston||Partington, Oswald||Whittaker, Thomas Palmer|
|Delany, William||Pearson, Sir Weetman D.||Wilson, H. J. (York, W. R.)|
|Doogan, P. C.||Price, Robert John||Wilson, John (Durham, Mid)|
|Fenwick, Charles||Priestley, Arthur|
|Fuller, J. M. F.||Rea, Russell||TELLERS FOR THE AYES—Mr. Dewar and Mr. Dalziel.|
|Gladstone, Rt Hn. Herbert John||Rigg, Richard|
|Harmsworth, R. Leicester||Roberts, John Bryn (Eifion)|
|Hay, Hon. Claude George||Samuel, Herbert L. (Cleveland)|
|Agg-Gardner, James Tynte||Finlay, Sir Robert Bannatyne||Mowbray, Sir Robt. Gray C.|
|Agnew, Sir Andrew Noel||Fitzroy, Hon. Edward Algernon||Muntz, Sir Philip A.|
|Allhusen, Aug. Henry Eden||Forster, Henry William||Percy, Earl|
|Anson, Sir William Reynell||Foster, Philip S. (Warwick, S. W.||Pierpoint, Robert|
|Arnold-Forster, Hugh O.||Fyler, John Arthur||Pilkington, Lt.-Col. Richard|
|Atkinson, Rt. Hon. John||Galloway, William Johnson||Powell, Sir Francis Sharp|
|Bain, Colonel James Robert||Gardner, Ernest||Pretyman, Ernest George|
|Balcarres, Lord||Godson, Sir Augustus Frederick||Purvis, Robert|
|Balfour, Rt. Hn. A. J. (Manch'r||Gordon, Hn. J. E.(Elgin & Nairn||Quilter, Sir Cuthbert|
|Balfour, Rt Hn Gerald W. (Leeds||Gorst, Rt. Hn. Sir John Eldon||Randles, John S.|
|Balfour, Kenneth R. (Christch||Greene, Sir E W (B'ry S Edm'nds||Rankin, Sir James|
|Banbury, Sir Frederick George||Greene, W. Raymond (Cambs.)||Reid, James (Greenock)|
|Bathurst, Hon. Allen Benjamin||Gretton, John||Ridley, Hn. M. W. (Stalybridge|
|Bentinck, Lord Henry C.||Guest, Hon. Ivor Churchill||Roberts, Samuel (Sheffield)|
|Bignold, Arthur||Hamilton, Rt Hn Lord G (Midd'x||Robertson, Herbert (Hackney)|
|Bigwood, James||Harris, Frederick Leverton||Royds, Clement Molyneux|
|Blundell, Colonel Henry||Heath, Arthur Howard (Hanley||Seely, Charles Hilton (Lincoln|
|Bond, Edward||Heath, James (Staffords. N. W.||Seely, Maj. J.E.B. (Isle of Wight|
|Bousfield, William Robert||Hermon-Hodge, Sir Robert T.||Smith, Abel H. (Hertford, E.)|
|Brodrick, Rt. Hon. St. John||Hickman, Sir Alfred||Smith, Hn. W. F. D. (Strand)|
|Cavendish, V. C. W. (Derbyshire||Hutton, John (Yorks. N. R.)||Spear, John Ward|
|Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor)||Law, Andrew Bonar (Glasgow)||Stanley, Hon. A. (Ormskirk)|
|Cecil, Lord Hugh (Greenwich)||Lawson, John Grant||Stanley, Lord (Lancs.)|
|Chamberlain, Rt Hn J. A. (Worc.||Legge, Col. Hon. Heneage||Stirling-Maxwell, Sir Jn. M.|
|Charrington, Spencer||Leveson-Gower, Frederick N. S.||Talbot, Lord E. (Chichester)|
|Cochrane, Hon. Thos. H. A. E.||Llewellyn, Evan Henry||Taylor, Austin (East Toxteth)|
|Compton, Lord Alwyne||Long. Rt. Hn. Walter (Bristol, S.||Tomlinson, Sir Wm. Edw. M.|
|Corbett, T. L. (Down, North)||Lonsdale, John Brownlee||Tuke, Sir John Batty|
|Cox, Irwin Edward Bainbridge||Lucas, Col. Francis (Lowestoft||Valentia, Viscount|
|Craig, Charles Curtis (Antrim, S.||Lucas, Reginald J. (Portsmouth||Walrond, Rt. Hon. Sir Wm. H.|
|Cranborne, Viscount||Macdona, John Cumming||Warde, Colonel C. E.|
|Crossley, Sir Savile||Maconochie, A. W.||Wilson, A. S. (York, E. R.)|
|Denny, Colonel||M'Calmont, Colonel James||Wilson, John (Falkirk)|
|Dickson, Charles Scott||M'Killop, James (Stirlingshire||Wortley, Rt. Hn. C. B. Stuart|
|Duke, Henry Edward||Majendie, James A. H.||Wyndham, Rt. Hon. George|
|Durning-Lawrence, Sir Edwin||Mildmay, Francis Bingham|
|Elliot, Hon. A. Ralph Douglas||Milvain, Thomas||TELLERS FOR THE NOES—Sir Alexander Acland-Hood and Mr. Anstruther.|
|Fellowes, Hon. Ailwyn Edward||Morgan, David J. (Walthamst'w|
|Fergusson, Rt. Hn. Sir J. (Manc'r||Morrison, James Archibald|
|Finch, Rt. Hon. George H.||Mount, William Arthur|
Original Question put, and agreed to.
§ MR. DALZIEL
asked if the Government were given the Vote, they would be prepared to report Progress.
§ THE PRIME MINISTER AND FIRST LORD OF THE TREASURY (Mr. A. J. BALFOUR, Manchester, E.)
said if the Vote were passed, he would be prepared to accept the Motion that progress be reported.
§ Resolutions to be reported To-morrow.
§ Committee to sit again To-morrow.
§ MR. GALLOWAY (Manchester, S.W.)
asked whether the Motion was in order under Standing Order 15, which said that on an allotted day no business other than Supply could be taken before midnight. That Rule was made with the express purpose of shutting out Motions such as that of the hon. Gentleman.
§ Adjourned at a quarter before Twelve o'clock.