§ 3. Motion made, and Question proposed, "That a sum, not exceeding £7,290, 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 31st day of March, 1907, for the Salaries and Expenses of the Department of His Majesty's Most Honourable Privy Council."
§ * MR. WEIR (ROSS and Cromarty)
raised objection to the payment of £2,000 as salary to the Lord President of the Privy Council and also to the proposal to pay an additional £100 a year to the 40 noble Lord's private secretary. With regard to the Lord President of the Council, he said that nothing had been paid to the holder of that office for some years, and he regretted very much that the Government should be willing to vote the sum of £2,000 to the head of a department the administration of which did not cost more than £12,000, the greater part of this money being paid in salaries. He also took exception to the payment of another £100 a year to the noble Lord's private secretary, thus making that gentleman's salary £300 a year, in addition to a large sum he was receiving as clerk to one of the Departments. It was simply throwing £2,100 in the gutter. What would the noble Lord do for such a salary? He felt that when he (the speaker) could not get 2,000 farthings for his people in the Highlands of Scotland he had a right to complain of such excessive expenditure; and so long as it was carried on by any Government, whether Liberal or Conservative, he should protest. More especially did he protest because the present Government was pledged up to the hilt to retrenchment and reform. If the Lord President of the Council must have a salary he should be paid a reasonable sum and not one sixth of the whole expenses of the Department. What was the meaning of it? He would like an Answer from the hon. Member, for he could not allow the Vote to pass without some satisfactory explanation. He had a Motion down to reduce the Vote by £2,100, but he hoped the hon. Member would see his way to give some pledge whereby the sum of £2,000 might not be paid to an ornamental officer. Then with regard to the £100 to be paid to the secretary. He did not know anything about either the noble Lord or his secretary, but he did know that such proposed expenditure was excessive. Let the Government be true to its colours, and not create such a post as the one proposed. It was the creation of a new salary—;and such a salary!—;to which he objected. Let them be fair in the matter, and not throw away one sixth of the expenditure of the whole Department upon one man, just because he was a noble Lord, and then follow that by throwing £100 at the head of a private secretary who was already receiving £200! What was that extra £100 for? Was he going to take off 41 the burden from the shoulders of the noble Lord? He protested against it, and unless he got a satisfactory Answer that the Government would wipe out some, at any rate, of that £2,000, and the £100, he should deem it his duty to move a reduction at a later stage.
§ THE FINANCIAL SECRETARY OF THE TREASURY (Mr. MCKENNA,) Monmouthshire, N.
said he strongly approved of the hon. Member's desire to effect economy, but he did not think the hon. Gentleman was quite aware of the ground upon which the £2,000 was paid. The late Lord President of the Privy Council was also President of the Board of Education, and as President of the Board of Education he received the sum of £2,000 a year. The present Lord 1'residont of the Privy Council was now in the House of Lords, as was also the late Lord President. The President of the Board of Education was now in the House of Commons, consequently the Lord President of the Privy Council represented the Education Department in the House of Lords. If the Committee refused to vote this money, he would be the only member of the Cabinet who was not in receipt of a salary. He felt bound to say that with regard to the noble Lord's work, he fully deserved a salary of £2,000, which was the smallest amount paid to any Cabinet Minister. With regard to the £100 to be paid to the private secretary, he would point out that that Secretary had to do Departmental work and received an additional £100, as did a private secretary engaged by any other Cabinet Minister. Therefore, his hon. friend would see that there was no extra expense at all in the matter. The Lord President of the Privy Council was not given £2,000 because he was a noble Lord, but as salary as a member of the Cabinet, representing the Education Department in the House of Lords. His hon. friend might be right or wrong in his view of official salaries, but there was no reason why he should take exception to this particular salary, unless he was prepared to take exception to all other salaries.
§ MR. WEIR
said there were excessive salaries. He was always prepared to vote salaries to men who did the work. As to the private secretary, of course he had to do some work, but what additional work was he doing which necessitated an additional payment of £100 a year, making a payment in all of £300, together with another £600 or £700 a year as clerk to one of the offices? It looked too much, and he strongly objected.
§ * COLONEL LEGGE (St. George's, Hanover Square)
also objected. He said the Lord President of the Privy Council was now to receive a salary of £2,000 for 1906–7, which he did not receive in 1904–5. They were told that he received this sum because he represented the Board of Education in the House of Lords. Surely if he represented the Board of Education, the salary should be paid out of the Education Vote? He would also like to know what the noble Lord's duties were; there should be more information upon the matter laid before the Committee. He begged to move a reduction of £2,000.
§ Motion made, and Question proposed, "That a sum, not exceeding £5,290, be granted for the said service:—;(Colonel Legge.)
§ * MR. MORTON (Sutherland)
said the late Tory Government was the most extravagant Government that had over been in existence. The question before the present Government was one of economy, and unless they practised it they could not hope to carry out the promises they had made. The £2,000 in question would pay a number of Members of Parliament a decent salary; therefore if the Government would strike it off from the Vote they would have some money to deal with the question of salaries to Members of the House. They were told that this sum was the smallest salary received by any member of the Cabinet. That, he contended, was not a fair way to judge it. They should judge the question by the amount of work done. What was the amount of work done by the Lord President of the Privy Council as compared with 43 the President of the Local Government Board or the President of the Board of Trade? Everyone knew that the Lord President's office was a sinecure, and that some friend or favourite was shot into it for the sake of the salary. They were expecting something better from the Liberal Government, and if they could not get it then they ought to divide the Committee, in order to let the Government know that they meant business. With regard to the increase of the salary of the private secretary, his hon. friend had not explained it sufficiently. He (the speaker) understood that the private secretary was to get an extra £100, making his salary £300, beyond the salary he was getting as clerk in another Department. If that was so, then who was the favourite? What work did he do, and if he was properly employed in another office how was it he had time to be a private secretary at all? They were not attacking the Government on a Party question at all. It was a question of dealing with money belonging to the nation, and they wanted to economise. He agreed with his hon. friend who mentioned that the sum proposed was a large one to pay the Lord President. It did indeed seem a very large sum to pay to a gentleman who had not much to do. He wished to put a question before the hon. Member. What were the hours of labour of the Lord President of the Privy Council? Such officials objected to men having eight hours a day. What, he wished to know, were their hours; were they three hours, or what? He wanted a definite answer to his question from the hon. Member, and if he did not give it to-day, he would have to on another occasion. When people high in office objected to working men having an eight hours day, he wished to know what number of hours per day they worked. He took it that they had a very short day indeed and that a good deal of their time was spent for—;well, otherwise than in their Department. Why was it he could never find these officials before eleven o'clock in the morning?
§ * MR. MORTON
explained that he was not referring to any other officials than 44 those mentioned on the Paper before the Committee, and he again repeated his questions. He thought if these high officials were to put in an eight hours day, the Government would be enabled to get on with half the staff and at half the expense. Considering the difficulties of getting money for objects which the Government had promised, he desired to impress upon the Committee the necessity of effecting economy in every direction.
§ MR. STUART WORTLEY (Sheffield, Hallam)
declared that the assertions of gross extravagance brought against the Conservative Administration, though freely made, never had been and never would be proved. The late Government created a state of things by which, to save the country's resources, the Lord President of the Council discharged the duties of the President of the Board of Education, and it was absolutely impossible to deny that at the present moment the country was finding £2,000 more for the services of the Department than was the case under the late Administration. The Financial Secretary of the Treasury had placed his defence of this salary upon the wrong, ground. The Lord President of the Council was receiving this salary not because he was discharging the duties of the Board of Education, for those duties were now being discharged by a right hon. Gentleman in this House, but because he had still the duty of putting through a number of Orders in Council not relating to education at all, but which had to be submitted to the Sovereign and the Privy Council by other Departments. He had heard no reason yet why the clerk who under the late Government used to perform the duties of Private Secretary to the Lord President, and never had a salary of more than £200 for the work, should now receive an additional £100 a year. They were awaiting an explanation of that. The fact was apparent that the country got the same services under the late Administration for less money than under the present Administration.
MR. STANLEY WILSON (Yorkshire, E. R., Holderness)
supported the reduction. The present Government were returned to Parliament for peace, retrenchment, and reform, and this was their idea of economy. The hon. Member for Sutherland asked what work was done 45 by the Lord President of the Council. He should like to ask if that Minister did any work at all.
§ MR. WHITLEY (Halifax)
said it was most refreshing to find this new-born zeal for economy on the part of hon. Gentlemen above the gangway on the Opposition side. He would like to remind the Committee, however, that under the new arrangement the House had the benefit, which they had not in the last Parliament, of questions being answered by the President of the Board of Education across the floor of this House.
§ MR. WHITLEY
said he would point out in the second place that the Minister who was in receipt of the salary in question would be charged with the duty of conducting the Education Bill through the House of Lords, and he did not think that would be a sinecure. He certainly thought that during the present year the occupant of the office would earn his money. But the hon. Gentlemen who were showing this now zeal for economy must remember that Ministers of the Crown in the late Administration held 60 or 70company directorships between them, and that the country was now benefiting by the Prime Minister's having reverted to the old practice in that respect.
§ MR. WHITLEY
said he only desired to point out that it was a consideration amongst others which made it well worth the while of the Committee to pass the Vote under discussion.
§ * SIR FRANCIS LOWE (Birmingham, Edgbaston)
remarked that the Government not only proposed to spend £1,000,000 a year in carrying out their new education proposals, but they now further proposed to give a now Minister a salary of £2,000 a year to carry those proposals through the House of Lords. He thought that formed a very curious commentary upon the pledges which Liberals gave at the recent election to pursue an economical policy, and he commended to the 46 consideration of the Committee their inconsistency in that respect. As far as he was concerned, he would oppose the Vote.
§ MR. WILLIAM REDMOND (Clare, E)
said he could not find words to express his astonishment at the attitude of hon. Gentlemen above the gangway on the Opposition side. Those who were absolutely the most recklessly extravagant in every shape and form in the last Parliament, and for years past, were now the very persons who were stirred by every consideration of economy. Therefore, the only effect of the action of hon. Gentlemen above the gangway on the Opposition side was to incline him to support the Financial Secretary to the Treasury, which he was not naturally inclined to do. He agreed thoroughly that the salary in question was altogether too high, and as they were at the beginning of a new Parliament, and would have to discuss the Estimates week after week for some time to come, he ventured, with the most earnest desire to be friendly, to advise the Government that they should take the bull by the horns and make up their minds to effect considerable economies in the public service. Running all through the Estimates there were salaries altogether out of proportion to the work done. There were the most glaring inequalities in the matter of salaries—;gentlemen receiving such sums as £1,500, £1,200, and £800 a year, after which there was a sudden drop, and persons, whose services were quite as necessary to the State, and who worked just as hard, received remuneration which was surprisingly small. In the late Government reform was not to be expected in these matters in any way; he never remembered the slightest attempt made to effect economy of any kind. But here was a Liberal Government which, if it had come into power on anything, had come in upon the cry of economy. The country was anxious that there should be in matters of this kind considerable retrenchment, and he thought the Government would be well advised if they altered the scale which now prevailed, and showed the people outside that there was in this matter some real and solid difference between the present Administration and the last. If a beginning could not be made on this Vote, 47 he invited some statement from the Secretary of the Treasury on behalf of the Government that in these days, when there was so much want out of doors, and the question of unemployment was so pressing, the Government seriously intended to make some effort to reduce public expenditure, and to see if they could not get these posts filled at much more moderate salaries than were now paid.
§ MR. CLAUDE HAY (Shoreditch, Hoxton)
said it should be noticed that whilst the Government were asking for £2,000 for the post of Lord President they refused an increase of salary to the abstractors employed in the office. The abstractors had asked for an increase or £,1 in their salary and to be put on the same plane as other civil servants in regard to annual leave, but they were not to have a moment's consideration. A private secretary, however, who was on one of the highest rungs of the Civil Service ladder, was to receive £300 a year extra for writing the letters of the Lord President, as to whose duties the Committee had no sort of information except that the Lord President had to sign certain documents. They were now being asked to place upon the revenues of the country a charge of £2,000 a year in order that a job might be found for a noble lord who could not otherwise be admitted into the Government. He hoped this matter would be pressed to a division in the interests of economy.
§ MR. VICTOR CAVENDISH (Derbyshire, W.)
asked if it was necessary to have the Education Board so very largely increased. Already they had two representatives of that Board in the House of Commons, and he hoped it would be possible in the near future, instead of having both the President of the Board of Education and the Parliamentary Secretary in this House, to at least have one of them in the House of Lords.
§ MR. T. L. CORBETT (Down, N.)
said he did not think the hon. Member for East Clare would succeed in convincing the Committee in regard to the extravagance of the late Administration. He thought new Members would find that the hon. Member for East Clare was never to be taken seriously. New Members would find that the hon. Member had only 48 looked at two columns on the Estimates paper. They would see from the Estimates for 1905–6 that there was an item of £7,605 for the Privy Council and under the new Administration these Estimates were £9,512. That was the most clear and definite answer to the charge that the late Administration was more extravagant than the present. There were many hon. Members on the Opposition side who would stand by hon. Members on the Ministerial side in their determination to carry out the pledges they made in favour of true economy at the last election. He looked forward with confidence, therefore, to the result of the division which would shortly take place.
§ MR. MADDISON (Burnley)
said that the man who was in ignorance of the waste and extravagance of the Tory Party must indeed have been out of politics for thirty years. He did not think that anything connected with education was the best thing upon which to begin economy. But he could not help expressing the opinion that these salaries were put far too high. There was the right hon. Gentleman at the head of the Education Department who would have to pilot the Education Bill through the House, and discharge his onerous duties at the Education Office, yet his salary was exactly the same as that of the Lord President of the Council. He had not a word to say against the noble Lord, in fact he had a great admiration for him, but he strongly objected as a democrat to giving a Member of the House of Lords, for doing probably one-third of the work the President of the Education Board had to perform, exactly the same salary. He thought the Government should take seriously into consideration the overhauling of all the Departments, and adjust the salaries to the duties performed. He did not think they could have all salaries of the same size—;he did not believe that every man was worth the same amount of money, but in this case a Member of the House of Lords was receiving exactly the same salary as a Minister in the House of Commons, and he thought that was not fair to the taxpayers of the country. There were a great number of pressing social reforms, and the only way to get these reforms was to reduce wasteful and unnecessary expenditure. While he did not regard hon. Members opposite as being really in 49 earnest in this matter—;[OPPOSITION cries of "Oh, oh!"]—;he pressed the Leaders of the Liberal Party not to consider the saving of a few hundred pounds a small thing. They must remember that everything saved that was not actually needed was so much gained for beneficent purposes.
§ SIR A. ACLAND-HOOD (Somersetshire, Wellington)
said it appeared to him that the main reason for voting this salary was that the Lord President of the Council would be called upon to pilot the Education Bill through the House of Lords. He wished to know if the Government anticipated that the Education Bill would go through in one ordinary session, or was it going to occupy the whole time of the present Parliament? If the Bill was to occupy the time of this Parliament, the Lord President would assuredly earn his salary, but if the measure was disposed of in one session, then it was not easy to see what work could be found for the noble Lord to justify his salary, unless he was to become a maid-of-all-work to the Government in the House of Lords. There was some justification for the principle that payment should be made according to results, and he quite agreed with the remarks made by the hon. Member for East Clare as to the overpayment of some and the under-payment of other officials. He thought the hardest worked Minister on the Treasury Bench was the Patronage Secretary.
§ SIR GILBERT PARKER (Gravesend)
said this discussion had brought out in very bold relief the extreme carelessness with which the present Government was formed. The Government had begun very badly with education, and in his opinion they would end badly with a great many other things. The best thing to be done would be for the Financial Secretary of the Treasury frankly to acknowledge the faults of the Prime Minister in forming his Cabinet.
* THE CHAIRMAN
I must remind the hon. Member that we are discussing the Privy Council Office Vote and the works of that Office, and not the formation of the Government.
§ SIR GILBERT PARKER
said he was going to suggest how the question of economy came in. The Government were clearly committed to a policy of retrenchment, and the point he was dealing with was the carelessness shown in the formation of the Government.
* THE CHAIRMAN
Order, order. The hon. Member is out of order in discussing the carelessness shown in the formation of the Government.
§ SIR. GILBERT PARKER
appealed to the Secretary to the Treasury to deal frankly with this question and acknowledge the mistake that had been made.
* MR. H. H.MARKS (Kent, Thanet)
said it was surprising to him to hear the expressions of astonishment by hon. Members opposite in regard to the attitude the Opposition were taking up on this Question. They had been accused of displaying a new-born zeal for economy, but it was not of recent birth, it had been with them for years. It might have lain dormant, but the atmosphere of those benches had a stimulating effect. That was no new experience to hon. Members of this House. Politicians did endeavour sometimes to make amends in Opposition for opportunities neglected when they were in power. It was an experience which hon. Gentlemen on the opposite side had had in great abundance, and the example which they had set in bygone years was one which it seemed to him the present Opposition might properly follow. It might be that they were unfortunate in having selected this particular Vote, because it concerned education more or loss. It had been said that the Government could not afford to economise on education. He thought that was true. If there was one thing in which the Government could afford to be liberal to themselves, it would be in education. He and his friends were in the position of not being able to support the Government with respect to most of the pledges which wore given on its behalf at the general election and by means of which it came into office, but there was one item in the programme of the Government in regard to which they were in a position to give their united support. They could support it in 51 regard to its promises of economy and retrenchment. It was the one thing on which they could offer any help to the Government, and he earnestly hoped hon. Gentlemen would not reject the offer in this particular case with which they were making a beginning. It had been said with perfect truth that there were abundant opportunities for economy in bygone years, and that they had not always been able to avail themselves of them. They should regret I that, and they should now show their repentance by making up for lost time. For that reason he hoped I the Amendment would be carried to a division. He would heartily support it.
§ MR. MCKENNA
said the spirit of economy which had been manifested by hon. Gentlemen opposite had been some what tardy in making an appearance. It was welcome at any time, and when he had to resist some of the appeals made by the hon. Member for Ross and Cromarty, he hoped he would have the support of hon. Gentlemen opposite in resisting those appeals. He was rather surprised at this moment to see the great historic Tory Party following the lead of the hon. Member for Ross and Cromarty.
§ MR. MCKENNA
said that hon. Gentlemen opposite would have his support whenever possible if they sought to reduce the Estimates on the ground of economy. What were the circumstances of the present case? They had the great historic office of Lord President of the Council which had attached to it membership of the Cabinet. This particular member of the Cabinet had duties to perform quite independently of his duties as member of the Government; he had to answer for the Education Department in the House of Lords. He did not refer to his particular duties as Lord President of the Council, because he fully admitted that those duties were very insignificant. He thought that any member of the Government who had to answer for the Education Department in the House of Lords was not overpaid with a salary of £2,000. That appeared to him sufficient ground why the noble 52 Lord in question should receive this salary.
MR. STANLEY WILSON
Does the Gentleman who answers in the House of Lords for the Board of Trade get a salary?
MR. STANLEY WILSON
Has the Lord President of the Council any official connection with the Board of Education?
§ Mr. McKENNA
Yes, he has now. He did not think it was really necessary to go into details. The hon. Member for East Clare had expressed the desire that the members of the Government should take this opportunity of making deductions from salaries in the House of Lords. He regretted that he was not authorised by any of his colleagues in the Government to offer to make any reduction in their own individual salaries. The right hon. Gentleman the Member for West Somerset had asked whether the salary would be continued after the Education Bill had passed through the House of Lords. The noble Lord was not receiving his salary simply on account of his duties in connection with the present Education Bill; he would answer in the House of Lords for the Education Department for all purposes so long as he held office. The salary was in no way dependent on the conduct of the present Bill. The hon. Member for Gravesend had complained of the extravagance of the present Government. He would remind the hon. Member that his figures were wrong. The total of the salaries paid to the President of the Council, the President of the Board of Education, and the Financial Secretary of the Board of Education was £5,200, and not £7,500. It was perfectly true that the salary of the private secretary of the Lord President was higher now than last year. The reason 53 for that was that the private secretary had not only to deal with questions addressed to that Minister, but also to hold himself in readiness by remaining in the precincts of the House during the whole of the debate; he might have to remain here day after day, and perform in addition his departmental work at the office. He did not think the private secretary was overpaid by an addition of £100.
§ MR. PAUL (Northampton)
said the hon. Member for Sheffield had done his best to bring the discussion down to the level of a Party squabble. The salary of the Privy Seal was abolished by Mr. Gladstone in 1885 and revived by the late Lord Salisbury when he was in office. He hoped that as sensible and intelligent men they would treat these recriminations, he would not say with contempt, but he would say with the respect —;for it meant the same thing—;they deserved. The serious question which they had to consider was whether they should give their sanction, if not to the creation, to the revival of a salaried sinecure. It was perfectly well known that the Lord President of the Council used to have some very important duties to discharge, and the Vice-President was his subordinate. Now, he believed, besides the mere formal signing of documents, the Lord President of the Council had no official duty of any kind to discharge. Lord Londonderry when President of the Council was also President of the Board of Education, and under that arrangement there was a saving of £2,000 a year of public money. It was said that Lord Crewe would answer for the Board of Education in the House of Lords. He was not sure on the constitutional question whether the Lord President was still an official connected with the Board of Education. He was under the impression that the Board of Education was created by statute a separate Department, and that the Lord President of the Council was no longer connected with it at all. If it was said that Lord Crewe had political functions to perform in the House of Lords, what about Lord Ripon, who had to answer for his Department and lead in the House of Lords, and was a most important Member of the Government? Lord Ripon was universally respected both by supporters and by opponents; he did his work exceedingly well without any 54 salary at all. The Committee ought to pause before sanctioning an arrangement whereby an officer was to be voted a salary of £2,000 a year for doing nothing at all.
§ MR. LANE-FOX (Yorkshire, W.E., Barkston Ash)
said that the point brought forward was really worth the attention of the Financial Secretary. When the Education Act of 1902 was before Parliament it was conducted by two Ministers, one in each House; but now there was a new Bill before Parliament it was said to require three Gentlemen, each with a salary. That did seem to him to be a matter which required meeting and justifying. In this particular instance the duties of the noble Lord would be to pilot the Education Bill through the House of Lords. It was really a perfectly open question whether he would have any duties to perform at all. They had to see the Bill sent to the House of Lords before they knew whether he would have any duties to perform or not. He therefore thought the Government should first have made certain that the noble Lord would have any duties to perform before they put down the salary. He admitted that the attempt to pilot the Bill through the Lords might be a difficult duty—;and he hoped it would be unsuccessful—;but he did not think it justified an extra £2,000 a year on the Estimates. He hoped that the hon. Gentleman who had moved the Reduction would persist and go to a division, because it would show to the Committee and to the country that, whatever might have been the failures of the Party to which he belonged in the past, they might at any rate be said to be deriving some benefit from their misfortunes. The hon. Member for East Clare had taunted them with exhibiting a new-born zeal for economy, but he thought it was very hard upon them if, having suffered a great reverse, they were not now to try to assume some of the airs of virtue which had won for Gentlemen opposite their places on the Treasury Bench. If they had not gone to the country with all that assumption of virtue which they were now endeavouring to prove was absolute hypocrisy and had not paraded the country with the cry of economy, many good men who were now wandering about the country would be in the House and they themselves would not be 55 gracing the Treasury Bench. The matter was of considerable importance, for they would be setting an example to the municipalities throughout the country—;and they all knew that the ratepayers had to contend with an undue growth of salaries—;and he hoped the reduction would be pressed to a division.
§ MR. STUART WORTLEY
said that the hon. Member for Northampton had accused him of bringing the discussion down to the level of a Party squabble. The hon. Member never addressed the House without bringing forward some such charge; but he could not progress a single inch in establishing that charge without conveniently ignoring the fact that hon. Gentlemen on his own side of the House had roundly accused the Tory Party of extravagance in the past; and if the hon. Member supposed that the Opposition were going to sit tamely under these charges without answer he was very much mistaken.
§ MR. T. P. O'CONNOR (Liverpool, Scotland)
said he would ask the Committee not to follow the example of the right hon. Gentleman who had just sat down by indulging in recrimination on one side or the other. He did not recognise the right hon. Gentleman as an economist, but as a bad example. However, there was no principle which was more loudly professed by the majority of Members elected to this House than that of economy; and if they were to have economy they must begin somewhere. It was no use saying that they were in favour of the general principle of economy and then when there was a clear case for economy to go in for extravagance. He thought the hon. Member the Secretary of the Treasury had made the best defence he could of this Vote. But what were the facts? The Lord President of the Council was a very important official in former days. He had a great many duties to perform. He had to look after cattle disease and education, although no one could understand the association between the two. But there was now a Minister for Agriculture who looked after cattle disease, and a Minister for Education who looked after the schools. Therefore the Lord President of the Council was deprived of all the duties which that high officer used 56 to perform. In the last Parliament—;that wicked and extravagant Parliament —;the Lord President of the Council combined the functions of two Ministers, but was only paid the salary of one. There was now a very distinguished Minister of Education who very efficiently performed the difficult duties which fell to his lot; and there was also a Minister of Agriculture. Then there was a Lord President of the Council created for what purpose? To read out Answers to Questions dictated for him either by the Minister of Education or by the very able permanent officials, and £2,000 a year was supposed to be not too large a salary for that duty. There was the Lord Privy Seal who had responsible duties to perform. Lord Ripon was the Leader of the Liberal Party in the House of Lords, and had to be present in the House of Lords every day; but he did not get a single penny of salary. The only difference he could see between the position of the Lord President of the Council and that of the Lord Privy Seal was that the latter was independent of salary, and the former was not. He was very sorry for the former, and if that noble Lord wore a working man he was just the man he would like to give a salary of £2,000 to for doing nothing. But that was not the duty of Parliament. What was the use of hon. Gentlemen coming to this House, representing the masses of the people of the country, and demanding money clamouring for public and social improvements from the Chancellor of the Exchequer, and at the same time voting a salary of £2,000 a year to a nobleman for doing nothing except adding a little ornament to the Treasury Bench in the House of Lords?
§ MR. SAMUEL EVANS (Glamorganshire, Mid.)
said that as an advocate of economy he had listened with interest to the debate. He quite agreed with the hon. Member for the Scotland Division of Liverpool that they must begin somewhere with economy; but he should like to begin at the right place, whereas the hon. Member would begin at the wrong point. The position, as he understood it, was that Lord Crewe was a member of the Cabinet. Did the hon. Member maintain that a member of the Cabinet ought not to receive a salary? He believed that a man should be paid full value for the work he did. Lord 57 Crewe had occupied the position of Viceroy of Ireland and other offices. He had been chosen by the Prime Minister to be one of his Cabinet, and did any one say that £2,000 a year was too large a sum to pay him for sharing the responsibility of carrying on the business of the Empire? It was said that Lord Ripon, who was also a member of the Cabinet, did not get a salary. Lord Ripon might be a very rich man and it was very good of him to serve his country for nothing; but it did not follow that other men could do that in a spirit of generosity. If it was right that Lord Crowe should be in the Cabinet, it was right that he should be paid a salary. He took part in a division in this Parliament where a largo majority of the House, including the hon. Members below the gangway opposite, voted in favour of paying Members of Parliament a salary of £300 a year. He wondered whether his hon. friend, when the country was sufficiently prosperous and the Chancellor of the Exchequer was willing to grant it, would refuse to accept that salary of £300 a year. That was the common sense view of the matter. Economy was a right and proper thing, but he did not think it was fair to try and knock off the whole of the salary of a man who was eminently fitted to be in the Cabinet and who took his share of the responsibility of the government of the Empire.
§ * MR. GEORGE FABER (York)
said that this was a matter which concerned every Member of the Committee. He knew something of the duties of the Lord President of the Council because he had had the honour for many years to occupy the position of Registrar of the Privy Council. In those days the Lord President of the Council was head of the Education Department and, of course, he was paid a salary. But what had happened since the present Government came into office? The representatives of the Education Department were now both in the House of Commons. They wanted to eat their cake in the House of Commons and for the Lord President to enjoy it in the House of Lords. He had not a word to say against the noble Lord who was the Lord President of the Council; there was no doubt that he was a man of great ability and well qualified to fill 58 any position, but that was not the point. The point was that the Government had started a new mode of retrenchment. They were going to begin by giving £2,000 a year to a member of the Cabinet who had no work to do, and they gave him a secretary, with a salary of £300 a year to help him to do nothing. The statement that the Lord President would answer Questions for the Education Department in the House of Lords seemed to him to raise the constitutional point whether he could properly do so. It appeared to him that if the noble Lord answered any Questions for the Education Department he could only do so as a matter of courtesy and not as a matter of right. He thought the recent Education Act prescribed that the duties should be performed by the Minister who presided over the Board of Education and his subordinates. Therefore, as Lord Crewe did not come into that category, if he answered Questions at all it would only be as a matter of courtesy, and he was going to be given £2,000 a year for doing that. The Prime Minister might have been pressed by the circumstances of the case, and perhaps was not able to pick and choose, when he settled his Cabinet as he did. If that was so, as head of a Party professing retrenchment, the Prime Minister should, nevertheless, "face the music," and retain Lord Crewe in the Cabinet without any salary at all.
§ MR. WILLIAM REDMOND
thought that this was a more serious matter than hon. Members appeared to realise, and he did not think the hon. Member for Mid Glamorganshire had made the case of the Government any better by laying so much stress on the fact that Lord Crewe was a Cabinet Minister. The hon. Member seemed to think that being in the Cabinet carried a salary with it, but as far as he knew there was no such office known to the Constitution as a member of the Cabinet.
§ MR. SAMUEL EVANS
said he did not advocate that the noble Lord should be paid for his work in the Cabinet. He had stated that Lord Crowe had great influence and great responsibility in regard to his work in the Cabinet.
§ MR. WILLIAM REDMOND
said the hon. Member certainly gave the impression that because a gentleman was a member of the Cabinet he should have a salary, and deserved one, but, as he had said, there was no office known to the Constitution as that of a member of the Cabinet. Some of the gentlemen in the Cabinet held offices which carried salaries, but others did not. The office held by Lord Crewe, against whom personally no one could say a single word, was not one which carried a salary with it. The point was that the Government were creating a new salaried office. They had their representatives of the Board of Education in this House, they were creating a third representative of education in Parliament who was put in the House of Lords and received a third salary. The Government might very easily have bestowed the office of Lord President of the Council upon some other member of the Administration who was already in possession of a salary or somebody who would not require any salary at all. He thought, with all due respect to the hon. and learned Member for Mid. Glamorganshire, that if they were to begin economy at all they should begin with the House of Lords. The hon. Gentleman had said that his hon. friend the Member for the Scotland Division of Liverpool was on the right tack, but that he was beginning at the wrong end. In his judgment, however, they were beginning at the right end. Let them start their economies in the House of Lords, and that could be done by making some new arrangement in this matter. In the late Administration the Lord President of the Council without salary was the same person as the President of the Board of Education with salary, and the Government were creating a new office with a new salary in the House of Lords.
§ MR. WILLIAM REDMOND
said the hon. Gentleman was perfectly right in what he said to a certain extent, but he was sure the hon. Gentleman would agree that under the late Administration the two offices were combined. What they complained of was that the Lord 60 President of the Council who was not the President of the Board of Education was to get a salary. It might be said that Lord Crewe was a most capable person for the post. There was no doubt he was, and the cruel part to his mind in dealing with matters of retrenchment was that they could not act without seeming to attack individuals. Nobody wanted, so far as he knew, to say a word against Lord Crewe. No doubt he deserved his salary as much as the Secretary of the Treasury did, if he had work to do for it. It was simply a question of putting on the Estimates an item which did not appear last year. People might say it was only a couple of thousand a year, and no doubt that was a small item, but if they were seriously to attempt to cut down these Estimates, they had to begin by cutting down small items and eventually, if they succeeded, the items added together would represent a very large sum. He did not know what the people of this country who desired curtailment would do, but having a few weeks ago listened to the wail of the hungry children going to school, and the cry of the aged people who had lost their strength and had to go to the workhouse, he would not be a party to fresh expenditure when it could be obviated by appointing another person. Moreover, he would point out that in regard to the House of Lords there was great scope for economy.
§ * MR. MORTON
said he quite agreed that this was not a personal matter, with regard to the noble Lord who occupied the office which they were debating, and they did not intend that it should be so. He was, however, delighted to have the opportunity of discussing a question of this kind, not on the salary of some fourth class clerk, but upon that of a noble Lord who held office and was a member of an assembly which was much too expensive already, and that they could discuss it without reference to the merits or demerits of Lord Crewe. He wanted to know the hours of labour in this Department, and he was entitled to an answer. It would not do for the occupants of the Front Ministerial Bench to think that they could ignore Members because they were humble and came from a far away constituency like Sutherlandshire. They must have anwers given to the questions asked 61 in a gentlemanly, proper, and, above all, in an intelligent manner. He had asked what salary this gentleman who occupied the position of private secretary got in the other Department with which he was connected, but no answer had been given. Then again they had had no answer given to the question why this gentleman was to have £100 more than was paid last year. He was afraid that some sort of favoritism was being displayed by somebody. He had asked for this information and hoped that his hon. friend would give it without obliging him to make two or three more speeches. For his part, he did not want to be hard upon the Tory gentlemen above the gangway when he found them assisting in the matter of economy. He remembered that ten years ago reformers obtained assistance from them and got £1,000 knocked off the Estimates for the House of Lords in one night. He wished the Committee to remember that these gentlemen had been living a very wicked life for the last ten years, perhaps because they wore overpowered by somebody from Birmingham, or somewhere else. Now that they were free apparently from that restraint, instead of sneering at them, he wanted to encourage them. With a little encouragement of that sort they might, during the next six or seven years, at least effect economy in some of the items of expenditure. Let the Liberal Party take care that they did not within the next two or three years sink to the same low level as that of the late Tory Administration. He held that it was not the duty of a Member of this Committee to vote with his Party on questions of this kind and to say nothing. Hon. Members should do their duty to the country and not make questions of economy Party questions. His complaint was that the Government which had gone had so managed that these two offices should be held by one man, and that, therefore, the present Government could surely have found in the other House a man who would have taken up the office of Lord President of the Council, an office in which there was nothing to do, without the salary. Some hon. Members thought that all Ministers ought to get a salary of £2,000 a year, but his hon. friend the Paymaster opposite who did many times the amount of work that the Lord President did, got no salary, nor did the junior Lord of the 62 Treasury who did ten times the work. He wished to know what time these gentlemen in the Privy Council Office gave up to their duties, and he wished to know the name of the gentleman who acted as secretary, and the amount of his salary in the other Department in which he was engaged, and he hoped the Financial Secretary would give him that information without obliging him to make another half-dozen speeches on the subject.
§ MR MCKENNA
said he was only too anxious to give the hon. Gentleman an intelligent answer, but he thought he would agree that it would have been much better if he had wanted an answer to these questions that he should have given some notice of them. He could not pretend to have all these details, the names and the salaries of all these gentlemen, at his fingers' ends. Had the hon. Member given notice that he required to know the name of a particular secretary, and what his hours of labour were, and what his salary was, he would have been most happy to have furnished the information.
§ MR. MCKENNA
said that so far as the office of the Lord President of the Council was concerned, that office carried a salary of £2,000 a year, and whenever that salary had not been paid it had been waived by the voluntary act of the noble Lord who hold the office. It would be quite open to Lord Crowe, if he held another office, to abandon the salary.
§ MR. WILLIAM REDMOND
pointed out that the office of Lord President of the Council was usually coupled with another office, carrying a salary, and that therefore the salary attaching to the office was usually saved.
§ MR. MCKENNA
said the hon. Gentleman was quite right in many instances. He believed Lord Rosebery held another post and therefore did not take the salary, and also the Duke of Devonshire, but there were many other Lords President who did not hold other posts and who took the salary. [An HON. MEMBER: Name them.]
§ MR. MCKENNA
said if the hon. Gentleman would give him two minutes he would supply the information. He did not think hon. Members opposite were justified in pressing this matter very far. The office of Lord Privy Seal did not carry a salary, but when that was the only post held by a Cabinet Minister a salary was attached to it. [AN HON. MEMBER: Two wrongs do not make a right] He did not say it was wrong, and he did not think it was wrong. He thought a Cabinet Minister was entitled to a salary. He submitted with confidence to the Committee that it was a most reasonable thing that every Cabinet Minister should receive a salary of £2,000 a year, and when they found a Cabinet Minister did hold the post of Lord President of the Council, to which a salary of £2,000 was attached, he did not think they should ask him to abandon the salary. He did not think a Cabinet Minister was over-paid for the work he did.
§ MR. MCKENNA
said that if the hon. Member, who had never served in a Cabinet, would ask any of his friends who had had that honour, they would tell him that the work done by a Cabinet Minister was not over-paid at £2,000 a year. The work of the Lord President of the Council was no doubt very small, but the post carried with it a salary of £2,000 a year, and the post was always held in conjunction with a position ill the Cabinet. Constitutional practice did not permit of the payment of a Cabinet Minister as a Cabinet Minister. There-fore it was only reasonable to revive the salaries attached to these offices from which the departmental duties had largely disappeared, and allow the Cabinet Minister to draw the salary, because his work as a Cabinet Minister involved serious responsibility and a great amount of time in addition to other work.
§ * MR. WEIR (Ross and Cromarty)
said he did not regret this discussion in the slightest. The Financial Secretary of the Treasury had had many words of wisdom addressed to him by hon. Members opposite, and had been well lectured upon 64 the subject of the Government carrying out the pledges they gave during the election to effect economies. He hoped those words would sink into the heart of the hon. Gentleman, and that he would not fail to remedy this matter and see that this sort of thing did nut occur in any other Department. He reminded hon. Gentlemen opposite that the Government was young in office, and appealed to them to allow this matter to drop and to give the Government another chance, especially as many of the Ministers were new to office—;For while the lamp holds on to burnThe greatest sinner may return.
§ MR. WALTER LONG (Dublin, S.)
said the reason why his hon. friends behind him had taken up this matter was not because they objected to the payment of the Lord President of the Council, but because, as a matter of fact, when the office of the President of the Board of Education was created, it was on the distinct understanding that a new office of profit should not be created. Now that the new President of the Board of Education had been appointed, the Government had been under the necessity of reviving an old office for which a salary had been paid, but which salary had been allowed to lapse. They opposed this because the Government, both in Parliament and out of it, had said that by the reduction of unnecessary items they were going to save money. The hon. Member for Ross and Cromarty had suggested the withdrawal of the Motion because, as he said, it was the first offence and the present Administration was a young Government. Surely the offence was worse when it was committed by a young Government pledged deeply to the policy of retrenchment. That policy had found effect by a proposal to increase expenditure and the revival of an old office which had been abolished long ago. For these reasons they could not consent to the withdrawal of the Motion.
§ SIR GILBERT PARKER
said that in his first speech the Secretary to the Treasury gave the impression that this salary of £2,000 was paid partly for the work done as representative of the Education Department in the House of Lords, but in his last speech he gave the impression that it was paid for the noble Lord's position as a Cabinet Minister.
§ MR. MCKENNA
said that if he had given that impression he was wrong. This salary was attached to the office of Lord President. He had already explained what wore the particular duties performed by the present holder of that office.
§ MR. SUMMERBELL
said he hoped this Motion would be pressed to a division. Every hon. Member who had gone through the recent general election would agree that one of the principal arguments used during the contest was that there was room for economy, and he would like to know where the Government were going to commence. So far as he was personally concerned he would go into the division lobby with any Party which was prepared to commence the work of economy in regard to the expenditure of the nation.
§ LORD TURNOUR
asked what was the exact nature of the departmental works performed by the Lord President, and how many hours a day he gave to that work. He would also like to know how often the Lord President had
|Abraham, William (Cork, N.B.)||Dixon-Hartland, Sir Fred Dixon||Hudson, Walter|
|Abraham, William (Rhondda)||Dobson, Thomas W.||Hunt, Rowland|
|Acland-Hood, Rt Hn Sir Alex. F.||Dolan, Charles Joseph||Jenkins, J.|
|Anson, Sir William Reynell||Du Cros, Harvey||Jowett, F. W.|
|Anstruther-Gray, Major||Duncan, C.(Barrow-in-Furness||Lane-Fox, G. R.|
|Arkwright, John Stanhope||Duncan, Robert(Lanark, Govan||Lawson, Sir Wilfrid|
|Ashley, W. W.||Edwards, Enoch (Hanley)||Liddell, Henry|
|Barnes, G. N.||Faber, George Denison (York)||Long, Col. Charles W.(Evesham|
|Barrie, H.T.(Londonderry, N.)||Finch, Rt. Hon. George H.||Long, Rt. Hn. Walter(Dublin, S.|
|Beach, Hn. Michael Hugh Hicks||Fletcher, J. S.||Lowe, Sir Francis William|
|Beckett, Hon. Gervase||Forster, Henry William||Luttrell, Hugh Fownes|
|Bignold, Sir Arthur||Fullerton, Hugh||MacVeagh, Jeremiah(Down. S.|
|Blake, Edward||Gardner, Ernest (Berks, East)||MacVeigh, Charles(Donegal, E.|
|Boland, John||Gill, A. H.||M'Killop, W.|
|Brace, William||Ginnell, L.||Marks, Harry Hananel (Kent)|
|Bridgeman, W. Clive||Glover, Thomas||Mason, James E. (Windsor)|
|Burnyeat, J. D. W.||Haddock, George R.||Meysey-Thompson, Major E. C.|
|Butcher, Samuel Henry||Hall, Frederick||Morton, Alpheus Cleophas|
|Byles, William Pollard||Halpin, J.||Myer, Horatio|
|Carlile, E. Hildred||Hamilton, Marquess of||Nannetti, Joseph P.|
|Castlereagh, Viscount||Hardie,J.Keir(MerthyrTydvil||Nolan, Joseph|
|Cave, George||Harris, Dr. Frederick R.||O'Brien, Kendal(Tipperary Mid|
|Cavendish, Rt. Hn. Victor C.W.||Harrison-Broadley, Col. H. B.||O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny)|
|Cecil, Lord John P. Joicey-||Haslam, James (Derbyshire)||O'Connor, John (Kildare. N.)|
|Cecil, Lord R.(Marylebone, E.)||Hay, Hon. Claude George||O'Connor, T. P. (Liverpool)|
|Clough, W.||Henderson, Arthur (Durham)||O'Grady, J.|
|Cooper, G. J.||Hervey, F. W.F.(Bury SEdm'ds||O'Kelly, James(Roscommon, N.|
|Corbett, T. L. (Down, North)||Hill, Sir Clement(Shrewsbury)||O'Malley, William|
|Craig, Charles Curtis (Antrim, S||Hill, Henry Staveley(Staff sh.)||Parker, Sir Gilbert(Gravesend)|
|Craig, Captain James (Down, E.)||Hodge, John||Parker, James (Halifax)|
|Dalrymple, Viscount||Hope, John Deans (Fife, West)||Paul, Herbert|
|Devlin, Chas. Ramsay (Galway)||Houston Robert Paterson||Pease, Herbert Pike(Darlingt'n|
§ been at his office during the time he had filled the appointment.
§ * COLONEL LEGGE
said that he had no intention whatever of taking the advice of the hon. Member for Ross and Cromarty, and he proposed to carry this matter to a division. In his opinion the reply they had received from the Secretary of the Treasury was exceedingly unsatisfactory. It was said that Lord Crewe was to receive £2,000 a year because he was a Cabinet Minister. He wished to point out to the House that salaries were not paid because right hon. Gentlemen opposite were Cabinet Ministers but because they were heads of Departments. All Lord Crewe had to do was to give the replies to Questions put by noble Lords in the Upper Chamber upon the subject of education, and that duty could be equally well performed by a gramaphone. He should press this Motion for reduction to a division, and he hoped to receive the support of all Members who were in favour of economy.
§ Question put.
§ The Committee divided:—;Aves, 134; Noes, 232. (Division List No. 52.)69
|Percy, Earl||Smeaton, Donald Mackenzie||Walsh, Stephen|
|Powell, Sir Francis Sharp||Snowdon, P.||Wardle, George J.|
|Price, C.E. (Edinburgh, Central||Stanley, Hn. Arthur (Ormskirk||Watt, H. Anderson|
|Rasch, Sir Frederic Carne||Starkey, John K.||Wilkie, Alexander|
|Redmond, John E.(Waterford)||Steadman, W. C.||Williamson, G. H. (Worcester|
|Redmond, William (Clare)||Sullivan, Donal||Wilson, A. Stanley (York, E.R.|
|Richards, T.F.(Wolverhampt'n||Summerbell, T.||Wilson, W.T. (Westhoughton)|
|Richardson, A.||Thomas, David Alfred (Merthyr||Winfrey, R.|
|Roberts, G. H. (Norwich)||Thomson, W. Mitchell-(Lanark||Wortley, Right Hn. C. B. Stuart|
|Roberts, S.(Sheffield, Ecclesall)||Thorne, William||Younger, George|
|Rothschild, Hon. Lionel Walter||Turnour, Viscount||TELLERS FOR THE AYES—;|
|Salter, Arthur Clavell||Valentia, Viscount||Colonel Legge and Mr.|
|Scott, A.H. (Ashtonunder Lyne||Walker, Col. W.H. (Lancashire||Ramsay Macdonald.|
|Shackleton, David James||Walrond, Hon. Lionel|
|Acland, Francis Dyke||Duncan, J. H. (York, Otley)||Levy, Maurice|
|Ainsworth, John Stirling||Dunn, A. Edward (Camborne)||Lewis, John Herbert|
|Allen, A. Acland(Christchurch||Dunne, Major E. M. (Walsall)||Lloyd-George, Rt. Hon. David|
|Allen, Charles P. (Stroud)||Edwards, Clement (Denbigh)||Lough, Thomas|
|Asquith Rt. Hn. Herb'rt Henry||Edwards, Frank (Radnor)||Lupton, Arnold|
|Astbury, John Meir||Elibank, Master of||Lynch, H. B.|
|Atherley Jones, L.||Ellis, Rt. Hon. John Edward||Macnamara, Dr. Thomas J.|
|Balfour, Robert (Lanark)||Erskine, David C.||M'Callum, John M.|
|Baring, Godfrey(Isle of Wight)||Evans, Samuel T.||M'Crae, George|
|Barlow, Percy (Bedford)||Everett, R. Lacey||M'Kenna, Reginald|
|Barnard, E. B.||Faber, G. H. (Boston)||M'Laren, Sir C. B. (Leicester)|
|Beale, W. P.||Fenwick, Charles||M'Laren, H. D. (Stafford, W.)|
|Beauchamp, E.||Ferens, T. R.||M'Micking, Major G.|
|Beaumont, W. C. B. (Hexham)||Ferguson, R. C. Munro||Mansfield, H. Rendall (Lincoln|
|Bell, Richard||Fiennes, Hon. Eustace||Marks, G. Croydon (Launceston|
|Bellairs, Carlyon||Findlay, Alexander||Marnham, F. J.|
|Benn, John Williams (Dev'np'rt||Fuller, John Michael F.||Mason, A. E. W. (Coventry)|
|Benn, W.(T'w'rH'ml'ts, S. Geo.||Gladstone, Rt. H Herbert John||Massie, J.|
|Bertram, Julius||Gooch, George Peabody||Masterman, C. F. G.|
|Bethell, J H.(Essex, Romford)||Grant, Corrie||Menzies, Walter|
|Bethell, T. R.(Essex, Maldon)||Greenwood, G. (Peterborough)||Micklem, Nathaniel|
|Billson, Alfred||Greenwood, Hamar (York)||Molteno, Percy Alfred|
|Birrell, Rt. Hon. Augustine||Grove, Archibald||Mond, A.|
|Boulton, A. C. F. (Ramsay)||Gulland, John W.||Money, L. G. Chiozza|
|Branch, James||Harcourt, Rt. Han. Lewis||Montagu, E. S.|
|Brigg, John||Harmsworth, Cecil B.(Worc'r)||Morgan, G. Hay (Cornwall)|
|Bright, J. A.||Harvey, A. G. C. (Rochdale)||Morgan, J. Lloyd (Carmarthen)|
|Brodie, H. C.||Haslam, Lewis (Monmouth)||Morrell, Philip|
|Brooke, Stopford||Haworth, Arthur E.||Morse, L. L.|
|Brunner, J.F.L.(Lancs., Leigh||Hedges, A. Paget||Napier, T. B.|
|Bryce, J. A. (Inverness Burghs)||Helme, Norval Watson||Nicholls, George|
|Buckmaster, Stanley O.||Henry, Charles S.||Nicholson, CharlesN(Doncast'r|
|Burns, Rt. Hon. John||Herbert, Colonel Ivor(Mon.,S.||Norton, Captain Cecil William|
|Burt, Rt. Hon. Thomas||Herbert, T. Arnold (Wycombe)||Nuttall, Harry|
|Buxton, Rt. Hn Sydney Charles||Higham, John Sharp||O'Donnell, C.J. (Walworth)|
|Cairns, Thomas||Hobart, Sir Robert||Pearce, Robert (Staffs, Leek)|
|Carr-Gomm, H. W.||Hooper, A. G.||Pearce, William (Limehouse)|
|Causton, Rt Hn Richard Knight||Horniman, Emslie John||Pearson, W.H.M.(Suffolk, Eye)|
|Channing, Francis Allston||Howard, Hon. Geoffrey||Philipps, J. Wynford (Pemb'ke|
|Cherry, R. R.||Hutton, Alfred Eddison||Pollard, Dr.|
|Churchill, Winston Spencer||Illingworth, Percy H.||Price, Robert John(Norfolk, E.)|
|Coats, Sir T. Glen(Renfrew, W.)||Jackson, R. S.||Priestley, W.E.B(Bradford, E.)|
|Cobbold, Felix Thornley||Johnson John (Gateshead)||Radford, G. H.|
|Corbett, CH. (Sussex, E. Grins'd||Johnson, W. (Nuneaton)||Rainy, A. Rolland|
|Cornwall, Sir Edwin A.||Jones, David Brynmor (Swansea||Raphael, Herbert H.|
|Cory, Clifford John||Tones William (Carnarvonshire 1||Rees, J. D.|
|Cotton, Sir H. J. S.||Kearley, Hudson E.||Rendall, Athelstan|
|Cowan, W. H.||Kincaid-Smith, Captain||Richards, Thomas(W. Monm'th|
|Cox, Harold||King, Alfred John (Knutsford)||Rickett, J. Compton|
|Cremer, William Randal||Kitson, Sir James||Ridsdale, E. A.|
|Crossley, William J.||Laidlaw, Robert||Roberts, John H. (Denbighs.)|
|Davies, David (MontgomeryCo.||Lamb, Edmund G.(Leominster||Robertson, Rt. Hn. E.(Dundee)|
|Davies, W. Howell(Bristol, S.)||Lamb, Ernest H. (Rochester)||Robertson, J. M. (Tyneside)|
|Dewar, Arthur (Edinburgh, S.)||Lambert, George||Robertson, Sir G Scott(Bradf'rd|
|Dewar, John A.(Inverness-sh.||Leese, Sir Joseph F. (Accrington||Robinson, S.|
|Dickinson, W. H. St. Pancras, N||Lehmann, R. C.||Roe, Sir Thomas|
|Duckworth, James||Lever, W. H. (Cheshire, Wirral||Rogers, F. E. Newman|
|Rose, Charles Day||Stuart, James (Sutherland)||Weir, James Galloway|
|Runciman, Walter||Sutherland, J. E.||White, J. D. (Dumbartonshire)|
|Russell, T. W.||Taylor, Theodore C. (Radeliffe)||White, Luke (York, E. R.)|
|Rutherford, V. H. (Brentford)||Thomas, Abel (Carmarthen, E.)||Whitehead, Rowland|
|Samuel, Herbert I,.(Cleveland)||Thomas, Sir A. (Glamorgan, E)||Whitley, J. H. Halifax)|
|Scarisbrick, T. T. L.||Thompson, J.W. H.(Somerset E||Whittaker, Thomas Palmer|
|Schwann, C. Duncan (Hyde)||Tillett, Louis John||Wiles, Thomas|
|Sears, J. E.||Tomkinson, James||Williams, J. (Glamorgan)|
|Seaverns, J. H.||Torrance, A. M.||Williams, Osmond (Merioneth)|
|Shaw, Charles Edw. (Stafford)||Trevelyan, Charles Philips||Williams, W. L. (Carmarthen)|
|Shaw, Rt. Hon. T. (Hawick B.)||Ure, Alexander||Williamson, A (Elgin and Nairn|
|Shipman, Dr. John G.||Vivian, Henry||Wills, Arthur Walters|
|Silcock, Thomas Ball||Walker, H. De H. (Leicester)||Wilson, Henry J. (York, W.R.)|
|Sinclair, Rt. Hon. John||Wallace, Robert||Wilson, John (Durham, Mid)|
|Soames, Arthur Wellesley||Walters, Joon Tudor||Woodhouse, Lord (Norfolk, Mid|
|Soares, Ernest J.||Walton, Joseph (Bamsley)||Woodhouse, Sir JT(Huddersf'd.|
|Spicer, Albert||Ward W Dudley (Southampton||Yoxall, James Henry|
|Stanger, H. Y.||Warner, Thomas Courtenay T.||TELLERS FOR THE NOES—;|
|Stanley, Hn. A. Lyulph(Chesh.||Wason, Eugene (Clackmannan||Mr. Whiteley and Mr. J. A. Pease.|
|Stewart, Halley (Greenock)||Wason, John Cathcart (Orkney|
|Strachey, Sir Edward||Waterlow, D. S.|
|Strauss, E. A. (Abingdon)||Wedgwood, Josiah C.|
§ Original question again proposed.
§ MR. CLAUDE HAY
moved a reduction of £100, to call attention to a number of points in the Vote. There was one amount for abstracting clerks. He noticed that there were now two abstractors, instead of one, and the pay of one of them had been increased. He wished to know why there were two abstractor clerks in the Privy Council office. Had the work increased so that two men wore now required instead of one? The right hon. Gentleman opposite had not been able to toll them exactly what the duties of the Lord President were, except that he might have to represent the Education Department in the House of Lords. Upon that point he hoped they would have a little more information from the Secretary to the Treasury, so that the Committee would not be asked to vote blindly for two clerks under a Radical Government, which was pledged to economy, when under a wicked and extravagant Tory Government one clerk was considered sufficient to do exactly the same work. There was nothing to indicate that the work of the Privy Council had largely increased. Whilst upon this item he should like to point out that one of these salaries had been increased by £5. He wished to know why that increase was not £6 or £4. Personally, he thought the abstractors were an ill-paid and over-worked class of public servant. He begged to move.
§ Motion made, and Question proposed, "That a sum, not exceeding £7,190, be granted for the said Service."—;(Mr. Via tide Hay.)70
§ MR. MCKENNA
said the point raised by the hon. Member was a very simple matter. There wore not two clerks of the abstractor class because there was more work; the total number of clerks was the same as last year. What had happened was that where before a junior clerk was employed it had been found necessary that the work should be done by a clerk of the abstractor class. The junior clerk employed in 1905–6 was not now employed, but the work formerly done by him was undertaken by a clerk of the abstractor class. The reason why the salary was £5 a year more was because it was considered to be reasonable, and because it was the usual rise for that class of work.
§ MR. MITCHELL-THOMSON (Lanarkshire, N.W.)
said it appeared from the face of the account that one of the clerks had not got his increase.
§ MR. MCKENNA
said the particular abstract clerk referred to had received his full salary. He had not been appointed for a whole year, and the fact that he had received a less sum than the others was accounted for in that way.
§ MR. MITCHELL-THOMSON
said it was a pity that did not appear on the face of the Paper. He was not imputing blame; he only wanted information.
§ LORD TURNOUR (Sussex, Horsham)
called attention to an item in the Vote for special trains, and said it seemed to him that they ought to get more information in regard to it. He understood the 71 charge was for the conveyance of members of the Privy Council to Windsor. He wished to know whether it was 'necessary to have special trains. He knew that some great officers of State thought it beneath their dignity to travel in anything but a special train.
§ MR. MCKENNA
said it was the immemorial practice for the expenses of the Privy Council to be paid when attending at Windsor and elsewhere, with the exception of occasions when they went to Scotland. He assumed that the Treasury had taken the view in the past that the expenses were so great when they went to Scotland that the Privy Council should bear the cost themselves, but that in the case of shorter journeys it should be defrayed by the Treasury.
§ LORD TURNOUR
said they should have their expenses paid by ordinary trains. It seemed to him unnecessary that they should travel short distances by special trains. He wished to know the number of occasions on which special trains were used, and whether the mem-
§ bers of the Privy Council could not have travelled by ordinary trains.
§ MR. MCKENNA
said the expenditure last year was undertaken by the right hon. Gentlemen whom the noble Lord was at the time supporting. No exception was taken by the noble Lord or his friends to the practice in this matter of the late Administration.
§ MR. CLAUDE HAY
said the hon. Gentleman had not replied to his observations. He wished now to ask categorically what the hon. Gentleman intended to do to improve the position of the abstractors.
§ MR. MCKENNA
said that so far as he had been able to examine their work he had not been satisfied that they were underpaid. Their work was not of a very responsible character. For the class of work done they got a very fair allowance.
§ Question put.
§ The Committee divided:—;Ayes, 62; Noes, 293. (Division List No. 53.)
|Brigg, John||Harwood, George||Mooney, J. J.|
|Bright, J. A.||Haslam, James (Derbyshire)||Morgan, G. Hay (Cornwall)|
|Brodie, H. C.||Haslam, Lowis (Monmouth)||Morgan, J. Lloyd (Carmarthen)|
|Brooke, Stopford||Hedges, A. Paget||Morrell, Philip|
|Brunner, J.F.L (Lanes., Leigh)||Helme, Norval Watson||Morse, L. L.|
|Bryce, J. A. (Inverness Burghs)||Henderson, Arthur (Durham)||Morton, Alpheus Cleophas|
|Buckmaster, Stanley O.||Henry, Charles S.||Myer, Horatio|
|Burns, Rt. Hon. John||Herbert, Colonel Ivor (Mon., S.)||Nannetti, Joseph P.|
|Burnyeat, J. D. W.||Herbert, T. Arnold (Wycombe)||Napier, T. B.|
|Burt, Rt. Hon. Thomas||Higham, John Sharp||Nicholls, George|
|Buxton, Rt. Hn. Sydney Charles||Hobart, Sir Robert||Nicholson, Charles N.(Doncast'r|
|Byles, William Pollard||Hodge, John||Nolan, Joseph|
|Cairns, Thomas||Holden, E. Hopkinson||Norton, Capt. Cecil William|
|Carr-Gomm, H. W.||Hooper, A. G.||Nuttall, Harry|
|Causton, Rt. Hn. Richard Knight||Hope, John Deans (Fife, West)||O'Brien, Kendal(Tipperary Mid|
|Cherry, R. R.||Hope, W. Bateman(Somerset N.||O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny)|
|Clarke, C. Goddard (Peckham)||Horniman, Emslie John||O'Connor, John (Kildare, N.)|
|Clough, W.||Howard, Hon. Geoffrey||O'Grady, J.|
|Coats, Sir T. Glen (Renfrew, W.)||Hudson, Walter||O'Kelly, James(Roscommon, N.|
|Cooper, G. J.||Hutton, Alfred Eddison||O'Malley, William|
|Corbett, C H (Sussex, E. Grinst'd||Hyde, Clarendon||Parker, James (Halifax)|
|Cornwall, Sir Edwin A.||Illingworth, Percy H.||Paul, Herbert|
|Cotton, Sir H. J. S.||Isaacs, Rufus Daniel||Pearce, Robert (Staffs, Leek)|
|Cowan, W. H.||Jackson, R. S.||Pearce, William (Limehouse)|
|Cox, Harold||Jenkins, J.||Pearson, W.H.M. (Suffolk, Eye)|
|Cremer, William Randal||Johnson, John (Gateshead)||Philipps, Col. Ivor(S'thampton)|
|Crossley, William J.||Johnson, W. (Nuneaton)||Philipps, J. Wynford(Pembroke|
|Davies, David(Montgomery Co.||Jones, David Brynmor(Swansea||Pollard, Dr.|
|Davies, W. Howell (Bristol, S.)||Jones, William (Carnarvonshire||Price, C. E. (Edinb'gh, Central)|
|Devlin Charles Ramsay (Galway||Jowett, F. W.||Price, Robert John(Norfolk, E.)|
|Dewar, Arthur (Edinburgh, S.)||Kearley, Hudson E.||Priestley, Arthur (Grantham)|
|Dewar, John A. (Inverness-sh.||Kekewich, Sir George||Priestley, W.E.B.(Bradford, E.)|
|Dickinson, W.H.(St. Pancras N.||Kincaid-Smith, Captain||Radford, G. H.|
|Dilke, Rt. Hon. Sir Charles||King, Alfred John (Knutsford)||Rainy, A. Rolland|
|Dolan, Charles Joseph||Laidlaw, Robert||Raphael, Herbert H.|
|Duckworth, James||Lamb, Edmuna G. (Leominster||Redmond, John E. (Waterford|
|Duncan, C. (Barrow-in-Farness||Lamb, Ernest H. (Rochester)||Redmond, William (Clare)|
|Duncan, J. H. (York, Otley)||Lambert, George||Rees, J. D.|
|Dunn, A. Edward (Camborne)||Lawson, Sir Wilfrid||Rendall, Athelstan|
|Dunne, Major E. M. (Walsall)||Lehmann, R. C.||Richards, Thomas(W.Monm'th|
|Edwards, Clement (Denbigh)||Lever, W. H. (Cheshire,Wirral)||Richards, T. F. (Wolverh'mpt|
|Edwards, Enoch (Hanley)||Levy, Maurice||Richardson, A|
|Edwards, Frank (Radnor)||Lewis, John Herbert||Rickett, J. Compton|
|Elibank, Master of||Lloyd-George, Rt. Hon. David||Roberts, Charles H. (Lincoln)|
|Ellis, Rt. Hon. John Edward||Lough, Thomas||Roberts, G. H. (Norwich)|
|Erskine, David C.||Lupton, Arnold||Robertson, Rt. Hn. E. (Dundee)|
|Evans. Samuel T.||Luttrell, Hugh Fownes||Robertson, J. M. (Tyneside)|
|Everett, R. Lacey||Lynch, H. B.||Robertson, Sir G.Scott(Bradf'rd|
|Faber, G. H. (Boston)||Macdonald, J. R. (Leicester)||Robinson, S.|
|Fenwick, Charles||Macnamara, Dr. Thomas J.||Rogers, F. E. Newman|
|Ferens, T. R.||MacVeagh, Jeremiah (Down, S.||Rose, Charles Day|
|Ferguson, R. C. Munro||MacVeigh, Charles(Donegal E.)||Runciman, Walter|
|Fiennes, Hon. Eustace||M'Callum, John M.||Russell, T. W.|
|Findlay, Alexander||M'Crae, George||Rutherford, V. H. (Brentford)|
|Fuller, John Michael T.||M'Kenna, Reginald||Samuel, Herbert L. (Cleveland)|
|Fullerton, Hugh||M'Killop, W.||Scarisbrick, T. T. L.|
|Gill, A. H.||M'Laren, Sir C. B. (Leicester||Schwann, C Duncan (Hyde)|
|Ginnell, L.||M'Laren, H. D. (Stafford, W.)||Schwann, Chas E. (Manchester)|
|Gladstone, Rt Hn. Herbert John||M'Micking, Major G.||Scott, A H.(Ashton under Lyne|
|Glover, Thomas||Maddison, Frederick||Sears, J. E.|
|Greenwood, G. (Peterborough)||Mansfield, H. Rendall (Lincoln||Shackleton, David James|
|Greenwood, Hamar (York)||Marks, G. Croydon (Launceston)||Shaw, Charles Edw. (Stafford)|
|Griffith, Ellis J.||Marnham, F. J.||Shaw, Rt. Hon. T. (Hawick B.)|
|Grove, Archibald||Mason, A. E. W. (Coventry)||Shipman, Dr. John G.|
|Gulland, John W.||Massie, J.||Silcock, Thomas Ball|
|Haldane, Rt. Hon. Richard B.||Masterman, C. F. G.||Sinclair, Rt. Hon. John|
|Hall, Frederick||Menzies, Walter||Smeaton, Donald Mackenzie|
|Halpin J.||Micklem, Nathaniel||Snowden, P.|
|Harcourt, Rt. Hon. Lewis||Molteno, Percy Alfred||Soames, Arthur Wellesley|
|Hardie, J. Keir(MerthyrTydvil)||Mond, A.||Soares, Ernest J.|
|Harmsworth, Cecil B. (Worc'r)||Money, L. G. Chiozza||Spicer, Albert|
|Harvey, A. G. C. (Rochdale)||Montagu, E. S.||Stanley, Hn. A Lyulph (Chesh.)|
|Stewart, Halley (Greenock)||Vivian, Henry||Whittaker, Thomas Palmer|
|Stewart-Smith, D. (Kendal)||Walker, H. de R. (Leicester)||Wiles, Thomas|
|Strachey, Sir Edward||Wallace, Robert||Wilkie, Alexander|
|Strauss, E. A. (Abingdon)||Walsh, Stephen||Williams, J. (Glamorgan)|
|Stuart, James (Sunderland)||Walters, John Tudor||Williams, Osmond (Merioneth)|
|Sullivan, Donal||Walton, Joseph (Barnsley)||Williams, W. L. (Carmarthen)|
|Summerbell, T.||Ward, John (Stoke upon Trent)||Williamson, A.(Elgin and Nairn|
|Sutherland, J. E.||Ward, W. Dudley(Southampton||Wilson, John (Durham, Mid)|
|Taylor, Theodore C. (Radcliffe)||Wardle, George J.||Winfrey, R.|
|Thomas, Abel (Carmarthen, E.||Wason, Eugene (Clackmannan)||Wodehouse, Lord(Norfolk Mid)|
|Thomas, Sir A. (Glamorgan, E.)||Wason, John Cathcart (Orkney||Woodhouse, Sir J. T. (Huddersf'd|
|Thomas, David Alfred (Merthyr||Waterlow, D. S.||Yoxall, James Henry|
|Thompson, J.W.H (Somerset, E||Watt, H. Anderson||TELLERS FOR THE NOES—;|
|Thorne,-William||Wedgwood, Josiah C.||Mr. Whiteley and Mr. J. A. Pease.|
|Tillett, Louis John||Weir, James Galloway|
|Tomkinson, James||White, J. D. (Dumbartonshire)|
|Torrance, A. M.||White, Luke (York, E.R.)|
|Ure, Alexander||Whitehead, Rowland|
|Verney, F. W.||Whitley, J. H. (Halifax)|
§ Original Question again proposed.
§ LORD TURNOUR (Sussex, Horsham)
said that he wished to move that this Vote be reduced by the sum of £60, for the purpose of calling attention to the item of £60, included in incidental expenses for washing.
said it was not usual to move a reduction of £60. The hon. Member should move a reduction of £200.
§ LORD TURNOUR
then moved that the vote be reduced by the sum of £200. Were they to understand that this washing, for which £60 was charged, only took place in certain cases? And what was the reason for the washing? [AN HON. MEMBER, "The noble Lord is very funny."] Yes, to put down washing among incidental expenses was very funny indeed, and he wanted to know more about it. Was the washing connected with the Privy Council Office? If so, it seemed to him to be rather a large sum for that object. There ought to be more details in regard to these incidental expenses. Then there was an item of £45 for newspapers for the Privy Council Office. That seemed to be rather a large sum. He did not know whether the members of the Privy Council belonged to The Times and Standard Book Clubs. What newspapers were taken in? [Ax HON. MEMBER, "The Daily Mail."] He hoped the Financial Secretary to the Treasury would give the Committee further information on these two points.
§ MR. H. H. MARKS (Kent, Thanet)
asked whether the Financial Secretary of the Treasury would give the Committee some information in regard to the item on page 212, with regard to extra coal porters and charwomen. In the case of all the other charges, the number of people were inserted, such as five messengers, one office porter, one fireman, and so on, but in the case of the coal porters and charwomen, no numbers were given, and only the total sum was inserted. It would, he thought, be of advantage if the particulars could be given.
§ MR. ASHLEY (Lancashire, Blackpool)
said he wished to call attention to the expenditure upon special trains, used for the purpose of conveying Privy Councillors to Windsor. There was a very effective express train service from Paddington to Windsor, which performed the journey in twenty-live minutes, and these trains ran every hour. He could not therefore see the necessity for providing Privy Councilors with special trains. If the Privy Council was held at Balmoral, the ordinary express trains were also very good.
§ MR. HARVEY (Rochdale)
wished to call attention to an item of £8 for postage, and asked whether the stamps wore half-penny or penny stamps?
§ MR. MCKENNA
said he congratulated his hon. friend upon the Question he had put. It was of as 77 great importance as, or at all events of equal importance to, those which had preceded it from hon. Gentlemen on the Opposition side of the House. If hon. Members who had asked questions had taken the trouble to write to him, he would have ascertained the details which they wished to know about. But he could not carry in his memory details as to washing or the number of towels or other articles washed, or the number of porters and charwomen employed and their wages, the newspapers which were taken in and various other particulars as to which he had been asked for information. It was absolutely impossible to give hon. Members the information now, but upon a subsequent occasion he would do what he could to secure it for them. He thought the question in regard to special trains was a very reasonable one, and he had already promised to inquire. He believed that no special trains were run to Scotland.
§ LORD TURNOUR
said he was prepared to withdraw his Motion for reduction, but he might point out that he did not ask for full details, but only for some details. He did not want particulars as to towels or anything of that kind. They appreciated very much the implied compliment which the Financial Secretary had paid them as to their criticism, and he would like to say that he had tried to emulate the industry which the hon. Gentleman himself showed last session.
§ * COLONEL LEGGE (St. George's, Hanover Square)
said that in regard to the question of notice which had been raised, he might remind hon. Members that it was not till a quarter past eleven o'clock last night that they were told what Votes were to be taken.
§ Motion, by leave, withdrawn.
§ Original Question again proposed.
§ MR. J. A. PEASE (Essex, Saffron Walden)
said he was much surprised at the remarks of the hon. and gallant Member for St. George's, Hanover Square, because if he desired to know what the business of the House on the following day was to be he could always ascertain it at Question time. The Members of the Government 78 were present at that time to answer any Question as to the business of the House, and if the hon. and gallant Member hail asked for information as to the Votes to be taken it would have been supplied.
§ MR. BRIDGEMAN (Shropshire, Oswestry)
moved the reduction of the vote by £150 in order to obtain some information from the Financial Secretary of the Treasury in regard to the increased salary of the Lord President's secretary. He was sorry not to have been able to give him notice of this point, but, as had been pointed out, they did not know until last night what Votes were going to be taken. If the hon. Gentleman wanted to have some longer notice, perhaps he would devise some means of letting them know a little sooner when the Votes were coming on. They did not wish to embarrass the Financial Secretary in any way in the discharge of his duties, but in the course of debate on the salary of the Lord President they had heard that the office was not attended with any great amount of work, and one would have thought that out of a salary of £2,000 a year the noble Lord might have paid whatever was necessary for the salary of a private secretary. He could not see that any case whatever had been made out for the payment out of public funds to the secretary of the present Lord President of the Council of a larger salary than was paid to the private secretary of the last Lord President. He knew that there were a great many hon. Gentlemen sitting on the Second Bench on the Ministerial side of the House who, although quite capable to fill the post of Lord President, filled the posts of private secretaries to Ministers—;a most important post—;without any salary at all. He did not know whether it was in order to rise to the trade union rate of wages among private secretaries, which had advanced in the last two months, or whether it was contended that this particular gentleman had move work to do, that this proposal was made. No doubt the hon. Gentleman the Financial Secretary of the Treasury would tell the Committee, but he should not have thought that, judging by the salaries of other private secretaries, who had a great deal more work to do, that £200 was a bit too low for the private secretary of the 79 Lord President of the Council. He begged to move the reduction of the vote by £150.
§ Motion made, and Question proposed, "That a sum, not exceeding £7,140, be granted for the said Service."—;[Mr. Bridgeman.)
§ MR. MCKENNA
said he did not in the least complain of receiving no notice of questions of the kind which the hon. Member had put to him. He had only asked for details about the washing of towels and the supply of newspapers and matters of that kind, the particulars of which he could not be expected to know off-hand. In regard to the point which he had raised, he thought the hon. Gentleman was under a misunderstanding. The private secretary of every Cabinet Minister—;although he believed there were exceptions in regard to chief private secretaries—;received a salary of £300 a year. In most cases Ministers had two private secretaries, and £400 a year was divided between them. In the present case it concerned the salary of the private secretary of a Cabinet Minister who had only one private secretary, and therefore he received £300 a year. In the case of Cabinet Ministers at the head of Departments, the private secretary was not the private secretary of his chief as a Cabinet Minister, but his private secretary in regard to the affairs of the Department as a whole, and he was usually taken from that Department. In the present case the Lord President of the Council as a member of the Council had a private secretary. That private secretary had, in fact, the usual additional salary paid to all other private secretaries, and he could see no reason why this private secretary should be mulcted in his salary, and should be paid at the same rate which applied to any other private secretary. For many years past hon. Members now on the Opposition side of the House had voted for a private secretary receiving additional remuneration for any additional duties he had to perform. The private secretary of a Cabinet Minister was fully entitled to the additional salary of £300 which he received. The hon. Gentleman had called attention to the fact that last year the private secretary of the Lord President of the Council received only £200, but in that year the Lord President had another private secretary. The President of the 80 Board of Education, who was also Lord President, had last year two private secretaries for whom £400 was provided, and they received £200 each. The present private secretary of the Lord. President would, however, receive £300 a year as the private secretary of a Cabinet Minister.
§ MR. MCKENNA
did, not think it was desirable that he should be obliged to define the duties of the private secretary of a Cabinet Minister. He might say, however, that he had to assist the minister in every detail of his work, to get up information for him from Blue-books and other sources. He was the recipient of a great many confidential communications, and was in a position of trust, and if hon. Gentlemen would look at the great names of private secretaries to Prime Minister's in the past, he was sure he would agree that £300 a year was not too much to pay.
§ MR. STUART WORTLEY
thought that his hon. friend was fully justified in raising this question, and although no one wanted to be hard upon the Financial Secretary of the Treasury, he must point out that the explanation which the hon. Gentleman had now given was not the explanation which he gave earlier in the evening. Probably he was wrong in his explanation given in the earlier stage of the debate and was now right. He now seemed to say that the Cabinet Minister had one private secretary at the higher rate of salary instead of two secretaries at the lower rate, as was the case when the head of this Department had two sets of departmental duties to attend to. From un-familiarity with the subject, no doubt, a different and probably incorrect explanation was given earlier in the evening.
§ MR. MCKENNA
Pointed out that Lord Crowe had only one private secretary although as a Cabinet Minister he was entitled to two.
§ * MR. MORTON
said that the Duke of Devonshire, who held this office, also held the office of the President of the Board of Education, and he possibly had a great deal to do. He did not think his hon. friend had put the matter quite fairly.
81 This private secretary not only got £300 a year hut probably a large salary in another department. They could not fairly judge this question of salaries without further information. The real point in this case was that there was no necessity for a private secretary at all, because the Lord President had practically nothing at all to do, and therefore the private secretary, could not have much to do either.
§ * MR. GEORGE FABER (York)
said that this matter disclosed two anomalies. The first was the gift of a salary of £2,000 a year to a man who admittedly had nothing
|Acland-Hood, Rt Hn Sir Alex. F.||Faber, George Denison (York)||Nield, Herbert|
|Anson, Sir William Reynell||Finch, Rt. Hon. George H.||Pease, Herbert Pike(Darlington|
|Anstruther-Gray, Major||Fletcher, J. S.||Roberts, S.(Sheffield, Ecclesall)|
|Arkwright, John Stanhope||Forster, Henry William||Rothschild, Hon. Lionel Walter|
|Ashley, W. W.||Fullerton, Hugh||Rutherford, W. W. (Liverpool)|
|Barrie, H. T. (Londonderry, N.)||Gardner, Ernest (Berks, East)||Salter, Arthur Clavell|
|Beach, Hn. Michael Hugh Hicks||Gill, A. H.||Sloan, Thomas Henry|
|Beckett, Hon. Gervase||Haddock, George R.||Smeaton, Donald Mackenzie|
|Bignold, Sir Arthur||Hamilton, Marquess of||Snowden, P.|
|Bowles, G. Stewart||Harris, Dr. Frederick R.||Starkey, John R.|
|Brotherton, Edward Allen||Hay, Hon. Claude George||Summerbell, T.|
|Butcher, Samuel Henry||Hervey, F.W.F. (Bury S. Edm'd||Thomson, W. Mitchell-(Lanark)|
|Carlile, E. Hildred||Hill, Sir Clement (Shrewsbury)||Thornton, Percy M.|
|Castlereagh, Viscount||Hill, Henry Staveley (Staff'sh.)||Turnour, Viscount|
|Cave, George||Houston, Robert Paterson||Valentia, Viscount|
|Cavendish, Rt. Hon. Victor CW||Hunt, Rowland||Walker, Col. W. H. (Lancashire|
|Cecil, Lord John P. Joicey-||Kennaway, Rt. Hon. Sir John H.||Walrond, Hon. Lionel|
|Cecil, Lord R.(Marylebone, E.)||Legge, Col. Hon. Heneage||Ward, John (Stoke upon Trent|
|Corbett, T. L. (Down, North)||Liddell, Henry||Watt, H. Anderson|
|Craig, Charles Curtis (Antrim, S||Lockwood, Rt. Hn. Lt.-Col. A.R.||Wilson, W. T. (Westhoughton)|
|Craig, Captain James(Down, E.)||Long, Col. Charles W.(Evesham||Younger, George|
|Dairymple, Viscount||Lowe, Sir Francis William||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—;|
|Dixon-Hartland, Sir Fred Dixon||Luttrell, Hugh Fownes||Mr. Bridgeman and Mr. Lane-Fox.|
|Du Cros, Harvey||Marks, Harry Hananel (Kent)|
|Duncan, C. (Barrow-in-Furness||Mason, James F. (Windsor)|
|Duncan, Robert(Lanark, Govan||Meysey-Thompson, Major E. C.|
|Abraham, William (Cork, N.E.)||Benn, W.(T'w'r Hamlets, S. Geo.||Burnycat, J. D. W.|
|Abraham, William (Rhondda)||Berridge, T. H. D.||Burt, Rt. Hon. Thomas|
|Acland, Francis Dyke||Bertram, Julius||Buxton, Rt. Hn. Sydney Charles|
|Ainsworth, John Stirling||Bethell, J. H. (Essex, Romford)||Byles, William Pollard|
|Allen, A. Acland (Christchurch)||Bethell, T. R. (Essex, Maldon)||Cairns, Thomas|
|Allen, Charles P. (Stroud)||Billson, Alfred||Carr-Gomm, H. W.|
|Asquith, Rt. Hon. Herbert Henry||Birrell, Rt. Hon. Augustine||Causton, Rt. Hn. Richard Knight|
|Astbury, John Meir||Boland, John||Channing, Francis Allston|
|Balfour, Robert (Lanark)||Boulton, A. C. F. (Ramsey)||Cherry, R. R.|
|Baring, Godfrey (Isle of Wight)||Brace, William||Churchill, Winston Spencer|
|Barlow, Percy(Bedford)||Branch, James||Clarke, C. Goddard (Peckham)|
|Barnard, E. B.||Brigg, John||Cleland, J. W.|
|Barnes, G. N.||Bright, J. A.||Clough, W.|
|Barran, Rowland Hirst||Brodie, H. C.||Coats, Sir T. Glen (Renfrew, W.)|
|Beale, W. P.||Brooke, Stopford||Collins, Sir Wm. J.(S. Pancras, W|
|Beauchamp, E.||Brunner, J. F. L. (Lanes., Leigh)||Corbett, CH(Sussex, E. Grinst'd|
|Beaumont, W. C. B. (Hexham)||Bryce, J. A. (Inverness Burghs)||Cornwall, Sir Edwin A.;|
|Bell, Richard||Buchanan, Thomas Ryburn||Cotton, Sir H. J. S.|
|Bellairs, Carlyon||Buckmaster, Stanley O.||Cowan, W. H.|
|Benn, John Williams(Devonp'rt||Burns, Rt. Hon. John||Cremer, William Randal|
§ to do, and the second was the giving of £300 a year to a gentleman as a secretary to help him to do nothing. In the old days the Lord President of the Council had a great deal to do, and he had two private secretaries at £400 a year. In those days they received £2,400 a year for doing a great deal of work. Now the Lord President and his secretary got £2,300 for doing nothing.
§ Question put.
§ The Committee Divided:—;Ayes, 73;. Noes, 294. (Division List, No. 54.)
|Crossley, William J.||Johnson, John (Gateshead)||Pollard, Dr.|
|Dalmeny, Lord||Johnson, W. (Nuneaton)||Price, C. E.(EdinburghCentral)|
|Davies, David (Montgomery Co.||Jones, David Brynmor (Swansea||Price, Robert John (Norfolk, E.|
|Davies, W. Howell (Bristol, S.)||Jones, William (Carnarvonshire||Radford, G. H.|
|Devlin, Charles Ramsay (Galway||Jowett, F. W.||Rainy, A. Rolland|
|Dewar, Arthur (Edinburgh, S.)||Kearley, Hudson E.||Raphael, Herbert H.|
|Dewar, John A. (Inverness-sh.||Kekewich, Sir George||Redmond, John E. (Waterford)|
|Dickinson, W.H. (St. Pancras, N.||Kincaid-Smith, Captain||Redmond, William (Clare)|
|Dilke, Rt. Hon. Sir Charles||King, Alfred John (Knutsford)||Rees, J. D.|
|Dolan, Charles Joseph||Laidlaw, Robert||Rendall, Athelstan|
|Duckworth, James||Lamb, Edmund G.(Leominster)||Richards, Thomas (W. Monm'th|
|Duncan, J. H. (York, Otley)||Lamb, Ernest H. (Rochester)||Richards, T. F. (Wolverh'mptn|
|Dunn, A. Edward (Camborne)||Lambert, George||Richardson, A.|
|Dunne, Major E. M. (Walsall)||Lawson, Sir Wilfrid||Rickett, J. Compton|
|Edwards, Enoch (Hanley)||Lehmann, R. C.||Roberts, Charles H. (Lincoln)|
|Edwards, Frank (Radnor)||Lever, W. H. (Cheshire, Wirral||Roberts, G. H. (Norwich)|
|Elibank, Master of||Lewis, John Herbert||Robertson, Rt. Hn. E.(Dundee)|
|Ellis, Rt, Hon. John Edward||Lough, Thomas||Robertson, J. M. (Tyneside)|
|Erskine, David C.||Lupton, Arnold||Robertson, Sir G. Scott(Bradf'rd|
|Essex, R. W.||Lynch, H. B.||Robinson, S.|
|Evans, Samuel T.||Macdonald J. R. (Leicester)||Rogers, F. E. Newman|
|Eve, Harry Trelawney||Macdonald, J.M.(Falkirk B'ghs||Rose, Charles Day|
|Everett, R. Lacey||Macnamara, Dr. Thomas J.||Runciman, Walter|
|Faber, G. H. (Boston)||MacVeagh, Jeremiah (Down,S.||Russell, T. W.|
|Fenwick, Charles||MacVeigh, Charles(Donegal, E.)||Rutherford, V. H. (Brentford)|
|Ferens, T. R.||M'Callum, John M.||Samuel, Herbert L. (Cleveland)|
|Fiennes, Hon. Eustace||M'Crae, George||Scarisbrick, T. T. L.|
|Findlay, Alexander||M'Kenna, Reginald||Schwann, C. Duncan (Hyde)|
|Fuller, John Michael F.||M'Killop, W.||Schwann, Chas. E. (Manchester)|
|Ginnell, L.||M'Laren, Sir C. B. (Leicester)||Scott, A. H. (Ashton under Lyn|
|Gladstone, Rt. Hn. Herbert John||M'Laren, H. D. (Stafford, W.)||Sears, J. E.|
|Glover, Thomas||M'Micking, Major G.||Shackleton, David James|
|Greenwood, G. (Peterborough)||Maddison, Frederick||Shaw, Charles Edw. (Stafford)|
|Greenwood, Hamar (York)||Mansfield, H. Randall (Lincoln)||Shaw, Rt. Hon. T. (Hawick B.)|
|Grey, Rt. Hon. Sir Edward||Marks, G. Croydon (Launceston)||Shipman, Dr. John G.|
|Griffith, Ellis J.||Marnham, F. J.||Silcock, Thomas Ball|
|Grove, Archibald||Mason, A. E. W. (Coventry)||Sinclair, Rt. Hon. John|
|Gulland, John W.||Massie, J.||Soames, Arthur Wellesley|
|Gurdon, Sir W. Brampton||Masterman, C. F. G.||Soares, Ernest J.|
|Haldane, Rt. Hon. Richard B||Menzies, Walter||Spicer, Albert|
|Hall, Frederick||Micklem, Nathaniel||Stanger, H. Y.|
|Halpin, J.||Molteno, Percy Alfred||Stanley, Hn. A. Lyulph (C'hesh.)|
|Harcourt, Rt. Hon. Lewis||Mond, A.||Steadman, W. C.|
|Hardie, J. Keir (Merthyr Tydvil||Money, L. G. Chiozza||Stewart, Halley (Greenock)|
|Harmsworth, Cecil B. (Worc'r)||Montagu, E. S.||Stewart-Smith, D. (Kendal)|
|Hart-Davies, T.||Mooney, J. J.||Strachey, Sir Edward|
|Harvey, A. G. C. (Rochdale)||Morgan, G. Hay (Cornwall)||Strauss, E. A. (Abingdon)|
|Harwood, George||Morgan, J. Lloyd (Carmarthen||Stuart, James (Sunderland)|
|Haslam, James (Derbyshire)||Morrell, Philip||Sullivan, Donal|
|Haslam, Lewis (Monmouth)||Morse, L. L.||Sutherland, J. E.|
|Hedges, A. Paget||Morton, Alpheus Cleophas||Taylor, John W. (Durham)|
|Helme, Norval Watson||Nannetti, Joseph P.||Taylor, Theodore C. (Radcliffe)|
|Henderson, Arthur (Durham)||Napier, T. B.||Thomas, Abel (Carmarthen, E.|
|Henry, Charles S.||Newnes, F. (Notts., Bassetlaw)||Thomas, Sir A. (Glamorgan, E.]|
|Herbert, Colonel Ivor (Mon., S.)||Nicholls, George||Thomas, David Alfred (Merthyr|
|Higham, John Sharp||Nicholson, Charles N.(Doneaster||Thompson, J.W.H. (Somerset E|
|Hobart, Sir Robert||Nolan, Joseph||Thorne, William|
|Hobhouse, Charles E. H.||Norton, Capt. Cecil William||Tillett, Louis John|
|Hodge, John||Nuttall, Harry||Tomkinson, James|
|Holden, E. Hopkinson||O'Brien, Kendal (Tipperary Mid.||Torrance, A. M.|
|Holland, Sir William Henry||O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny)||Ure, Alexander|
|Hope, John Deans (Fife, West)||O'Connor, John (Kildare, N.)||Verney, F. W.|
|Hope, W. Bateman (Somerset, N||O'Grady, J.||Vivian, Henry|
|Horniman, Emslie John||O'Kelly, James (Roscommon N.||Walker, H. De R. (Leicester)|
|Howard, Hon. Geoffrey||O'Malley, William||wallace, Robert|
|Hudson, Walter||Parker, James (Halifax)||Walsh, Stephen|
|Hutton, Alfred Eddison||Paul, Herbert||Walters, John Tudor|
|Hyde, Clarendon||Pearce, Robert (Staffs. Leek)||Walton, Joseph (Barnsley)|
|Illingworth, Percy H.||Pearce, William (Limebouse)||Ward, W. Dudley(Southampton|
|Isaacs, Rufus Daniel||Pearson, W H. M. (Suffolk, Eye||Wardle, George J.|
|Jackson, R. S.||Philipps, Col. Ivor (S'thampton.||Wason, Eugene (Clackmannan)|
|Jenkins, J.||Philipps, J. Wynford(Pembroke||Wason, John Cathcart(Orkney)|
|Waterlow, D. S.||Wiles, Thomas||Woodhouse, Sir J T. (Huddersfd|
|Wedgwood, Josiah C.||Wilkie, Alexander||Yoxall, James Henry|
|Weir, James Galloway||Williams, J. (Glamorgan)||TELLERS FOR THE NOES—;|
|White, J. D. (Dumbartonshire)||Williams, Osmond (Merioneth)||Mr. Whiteley and Mr. J. A. Pease.|
|White, Luke (York, E. R.)||Williams W. L. (Carmarthen)|
|Whitehead, Rowland||Williamson A. (Elgin and Nairn|
|Whitley, J. H. (Halifax)||Winfrey R.|
|Whittaker, Thomas Palmer||Wodehouse, Lord (Norfolk, Mid)|
§ Original Question again proposed.
§ MR. CLAUDE HAY
said he wished to move a reduction in regard to the item of £598 for messengers in the office of the Privy Council. It had become apparent after what had been said by the Secretary of the Treasury that the work of this Department practically did not exist, and that the only duty that fell upon the Lord President of the Council was that of representing the Board of Education in the House of Lords when required. It must be clear that the duties of the Lord President were so insignificant that the office could not require this sum of money spent on messengers. What did the five messengers do during the whole of their official hours? In order that the hon. Gentlemen might afford an explanation, he begged to move that the estimate be reduced by £500.
§ Motion made, and Question proposed, "That a sum, not exceeding £6,790, be granted for the said Service."—;(Mr. Claude Hay.)
§ MR. MCKENNA
said the hon. Gentlemen had entirely misunderstood the purport of the previous discussion. It must not be assumed that because the Lord President had little to do the work of the Department was not going on. There were the Orders in Council to be dealt with, and there was the judicial department of the Privy Council. The salaries of the messengers were not at all in excess of the requirements of the office. While it might be perfectly true that the titular head of the office had not very much to do, the office itself was a hard-worked office, and he did not wish it to go out as a result of this debate that the work was not serious and onerous. It was a serious and onerous work, and there were not any more men in the Department than were absolutely necessary.
§ MR. J. WARD (Stoke-on-Trent)
said that while there was reason in the previous 86 two Votes for an expression of hostile opinion there was no reason whatever why the Committee should be called upon to object to the salaries of these five messengers, the salaries of whom in no case exceeded £150. Consequently he thought the Committee would be well advised to allow such moderate salaries to pass without criticism.
§ MR. T. W. RUSSELL (Tyrone, S.)
said that if there was an office there must be a door-keeper. He had had occasion to call at the Colonial Office that afternoon on business, and he would not have been able to find the gentleman he wanted had there been no messenger. He could understand the attack that had been made upon the salary of the Lord President, and even upon that of his secretary, but when it came to attacking messengers, who were mostly Army pensioners, that was a different thing altogether. Hon. Gentlemen on the Opposition side were not at all artistic in the work of obstruction, and though they would no doubt improve as time wont on, they had shown clearly this afternoon that they knew nothing about the business.
§ LORD R. CECIL (Marylebone, E)
. said they had listened to two very remarkable speeches. They had been told by members of the Labour Party that the Opposition did not understand their business as a Tory Party, and then they wore told by the hon. Member for South Tyrone with much greater authority that they did not understand their business as obstructionists. He did not understand that anybody with whom he was associated had been guilty of obstruction. Hon. Members, calling themselves Labour Members, were getting into the habit of dictating, not only to the Government, but to the whole House, telling them what ought to be done, and expecting it to be done instantly. So far as he was concerned, he should have been content to advise his hon. friend to withdraw 87 his Amendment, but after the speeches to which they had just listened he did not propose to offer that advice.
§ MR. MADDISON (Burnley)
did not believe that the discussions this afternoon had been at all un-instructive, because they had revealed the great Tory Party in their lowest depths. After having practically the expenses of the Army and Navy doubled in twelve years they were now occupying the attention of the Committee first by an abortive Motion about an item for washing, and now the hon. Member for Hoxton, who was a great social reformer, had chosen five poor messengers for attack. This was Tory social reform! The hon. Member first of all called them lazy, and said they had nothing to do.
§ MR. MADDISON
said he was going on to say that the hon. Gentleman said that in effect. He did not wish to do injustice to the hon. Member, but he had pointed out that this was an office in which there was nothing to do. If so, then there could be nothing for messengers to do. The noble Lord had said Toryism and obstruction were not the same thing. They were constantly hearing what Toryism was not, but never what it was. Perhaps the noble Lord would enlighten them as to what it was.
§ MR. MADDISON
asked what economy was. [An HON. MEMBER: Toryism.] If Toryism was economy, and Tories were really seeking after economy, why did they not support those who some time ago wanted to take a million or two off the Army? It was not until it was a matter of a few messengers that Toryism rose to the occasion.
§ MR. SLOAN (Belfast, S.)
said that the hon. Member for South Tyrone was not justified in asserting that those who supported the reduction of the Vote were unsympathetic towards a deserving class of men, who wore, perhaps, not too well paid. They simply asked for information. There was a Lord President, with £2,000 a year, who was said to have 88 nothing to do, and there were five messengers who were supposed to assist him.
§ MR. T. W. RUSSELL
The effect of the reduction would be to take away the whole pay of the messengers.
§ MR. T. L. CORBETT (Down, N.)
asked the Financial Secretary of the Treasury to explain what were the duties of the coal porters, and why they were paid only 10s. per week.
§ * MR. REES (Montgomery Boroughs)
said he did not know whether the hon. Member for Hoxton had ever seen the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council sitting, but anyone who did so could not fail to be struck by the exceedingly inexpensive manner in which they conducted their operations. The complete absence of pomp and circumstance in that august tribunal was extraordinary. It performed functions of vast importance over a great part of the world in the simplest possible form and without any Imperial accessories.
§ MR. BRIDGEMAN
said that apparently the doctrine below the gangway was that if salaries wore under a certain point they must not object to them, but the policy of hon. Members on the Opposition Benches was to find out if there were any unnecessary expenses. Their economy was all-round economy, and they were doing their best to show their impartiality. The point was not whether the messengers were overpaid or underpaid. They all wanted to see them paid a proper rate of wages. The question was whether there were too many messengers. In the office in question there were twenty-seven persons, including firemen, coal porters, and a superintending charwoman, for whom it was fair to assume the messengers did not work. Excluding those persons there were twenty-four officials, and five of them were messengers. Besides these 89 messengers there were extra messengers whose numbers were not shewn in the return The point was whether the number of messengers was not excessive.
§ MR. SEDDON (Lancashire, Newton)
asked how many coal porters there were working at the salary of 10s. a week, and what number of hours they worked. He did not think the Party to which he belonged desired to receive any advice from Members above the gangway as to the particular way in which they should conduct their business. While not prepared to quibble they wore prepared to raise questions which affected workingmen employed by various Departments of the State, as well as to raise questions affecting high salaries.
AN HON. MEMBER
asked what were the duties of the Nautical Assessor and what they had to do with the Privy Council.
§ MR. MCKENNA
said the Nautical Assessor assisted the Judicial Tribunal in Admiralty cases, and received two guineas a day for his services. He regretted that he was unable to give the number of coal porters. Their duty was to deliver coals at stated hours, and at other times these men, who were often pensioners, were free to earn money at other occupations. They were very glad to get this additional work. The messengers were needed to do work for the Judicial Council.
§ COLONEL LOCKWOOD (Essex, Epping)
asked whether he was to understand that some of the coal porters were pensioners, and therefore were paid a lower rate of wages.
said the hon. Gentleman stated that they were pensioners able to earn money in other ways. What he wanted to know was whether these men, being pensioners, were paid a lower rate of wages.
§ MR. MCKENNA
said he made no such assertion. What he said was that these men received 10s. a week because the work only occupied a very little time, and 90 they had leisure to do some other occupation. They wore men who were very glad to get this additional work, but did not wish to be employed all their time at it; and, indeed, they could not be so employed.
§ * MR. CLAUDE HAY
said he was perfectly sure the messengers of the Privy Council would know that he was not against them, and if it were in his power he would move an increase in their wages, even at the expense of the Lord President. What he had been anxious to find out was why five messengers were wanted in an office when the head of the office, receiving £ [...] a year, was declared to have no work to do. He was not in the least desirous of troubling the Committee to divide, and after the discussion, which had been very instructive, he would ask the leave of the Committee to withdraw his Amendment.
§ Motion, by leave, withdrawn.
§ Original Question put, and agreed to.
§ 4. Motion made, and Question proposed, "That a sum, not exceeding £25,243, 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 31st day of March 1907, for the Salaries and Expenses of the Civil Service Commission."
§ * MR. STUART WORTLEY
said the Commissioners were responsible for the examinations as to the educational qualifications of entrants into the Civil Service and also for the medical examinations of candidates. In some Departments the proportion of retirements from pulmonary and other diseases had been rather high. As to the fitness of candidates for admission to the Civil Service, all depended on the methods which the Commissioners adopted in connection with the examinations. It was the practice to depend in past times on the reports of the medical practitioners employed by the entrants themselves. He hoped the hon. Gentleman would be able to give the Committee the assurance that the medical examinations were now conducted by men employed by the Commissioners.
§ * MR. CLAUDE HAY
said the Civil Service Commission was practically an independent body. That being so, when the Commission wanted anything the Treasury had little power to resist the demand made. Those who had had any experience of the Civil Service Commissioners were aware that they treated the public in a very arbitrary manner. It was difficult to get any information from them. If the Civil Service Commission made a demand on the Treasury for more clerks, the Treasury had practically to give in without being able to satisfy themselves that the demand was justified. The Estimates for the coming year were in excess of those for the year 1905–6, and he hoped the representative of the Treasury would be able to state to the Committee the reason for the increase. There was nothing to show that the lower grade Civil servants, or the second division clerks, had received any increase of pay beyond what they were entitled to and, therefore, there was all the more reason to inquire why the Estimates should now be given at a larger figure. He wanted fuller information in regard to assistant examiners, for whom a larger amount was put down. There was also an increase under the head of advertisements of examinations. He asked the Financial Secretary to give some information as to the methods adopted by the Department in the selection of the newspapers in which these advertisements appeared. Personally he had heard complaints as to the unsatisfactory manner in which the distribution of advertisements was carried out by the Commissioners. He wished to know also whether the relationship between the Commissioners and the Treasury was satisfactory or whether something might not be done to give the Treasury more effective control over their operations so as to ensure that the services of the Commissioners would be more advantageous to the public, and above all, that the expense of the Department should not be increased. The work of the Commissioners had a far reaching effect indirectly upon the education of the country in consequence of the method in which they framed their demands in the matter of examinations for the Civil Service. In that way they were able to influence a great deal of the public school life and the university life of the country. He hoped the present Financial Secretary would be able to declare to the Committee 92 that he proposed to carry out very definite and drastic reforms in connection with the Department.
§ MR. MCKENNA
said the hon. Gentleman had raised a very wide question. His own experience at the Treasury was far too short to enable him to express any strong opinion at the moment. He frankly admitted that the Question raised deserved most careful consideration, and he could assure the hon. Member that it would receive that consideration. The relations with the Treasury were similar to those of other Departments, and upon points of detail it was often difficult for the Secretary to the Treasury to reply. The postage item represented a convenient book-keeping arrangement with the Post Office in relation to the conveyance of parcels, and for correspondence the Commission had the power of franking with other Departments. The doctors conducting the medical examinations were appointed by the Commission, they were paid fees, and their reports were independent and free from suspicion.
§ MR. VICTOR CAVENDISH (Derbyshire, W.)
said he was not sure whether the Civil Service Commission was independent of the Treasury by Act of Parliament. The Financial Secretary was necessarily placed in a position of difficulty in speaking for a Department which had to do with a number of other Departments. It was not always possible to give a complete answer in regard to questions raised, and he hoped the hon. Gentleman would always receive from the the House the same fair treatment which he himself had received during the two years he hold the office of Financial Secretary of the Treasury. In regard to the work of the Civil Service Commission, he thought there were one or two small matters to which attention might be called with a view to an improvement in their methods. He hoped the Committee would keep these points in view, but that they would not unduly press the Financial Secretary who had been but a very short time in office. He was sure that any representations which might be brought before the hon. Gentleman would be considered by him, and that they would be brought to the notice of the Departments for which he had to answer. It had been suggested that the Civil Service Commission should be placed 93 more under the Board of Education. That would involve a considerable amount of administrative reform, and he hoped that the question would not be approached without careful and serious consideration.
§ * MR. REES
said he had been associated with the Civil Service Commissioners for about thirty years as an examinee and an examiner, and he had always found them an exceedingly polite and courteous body discharging their functions efficiently and well. As to the medical examinations, so far from there being the danger indicated by the lion. Member opposite, if there was any danger at all it was that the doctors were too ready to "spin" candidates, and find them unfit for the public service. As the hon. Member for Hoxton had called the Commissioners arbitrary, and had said it was difficult to get information out of them, he thought it right to get up and say so much, for the important and extensive functions performed by the Commissioners were indifferently appreciated by their critics.
§ MR. F. E. SMITH (Liverpool, Walton)
asked whether, if a candidate were rejected by the medical officer, his fee was returned.
§ MR. WILLIAM RUTHERFORD (Liverpool, West Derby)
said there did not appear to be any attempt on the part of the Government to carry out in this Department their promises of retrenchment and reform. If he understood the matter aright, the Treasury appeared to have practically no control over the expenditure of this Department. He was glad to hear that the Treasury was responsible, and he hoped that next year, when the Committee came to consider this Vote, they would be able to judge whether the promises of retrenchment and reform had the slightest chance of being carried out by the present Government. He found in the Vote no less a sum than £912 for temporary men and temporary boy messengers, compared with £840 last year. That meant that under the present régime the system of temporary messengers was not only not to be diminished, but actually to be increased. He contended that if any 94 Department was to be efficient it should not employ temporary assistance, but have a permanent staff to deal with the work. There was nothing worse than casual labour. Then he found charges for overtime in two divisions of the assistant clerks. Any man of practical experience would agree that the system of overtime should be done away with. If a proper staff was employed and a push of work arose on occasion, the staff would be willing to do it; but the system of paying for overtime was most objectionable and led to abuses. Then he noticed an item of £1,500 for copying. He presumed what was meant by that was that certain work which could not be adequately done in the office was sent out and paid for. [AN HON. MEMBER: That was done by your Government.] Yes, but they had to look to the new Government to adopt more progressive measures; and he suggested that appliances for copying, which had now been brought to great perfection, should be used, and that would lead to less expense. Then there was the important item of £18,130 for assistant examiners. He noticed that their fees ranged from 12s. 6d. to £3 3s. per day. Could the Financial Secretary of the Treasury say how many examiners there were, and what was the average fee paid to them? He did not know whether the hon. Member for the Montgomery Boroughs received the three guinea fee. There wore many other items which one might comment upon if there were time, but he thought that sufficient had been said to demonstrate that this Department would do very well with an overhauling. He agreed that it was a most useful and painstaking Department, but he was not satisfied that it was conducted on the best lines, and there was ample room for drastic changes which would make it more effective.
§ * MR. J. WARD
said that at the end of the accounts of the Department, there was a sum of nearly £1,000 for incidental 95 expenses, of which there was no explanation. He could not help thinking that if a trade union secretary brought up his accounts with a lump sum of £1,000 for incidental expenses, with no explanation, he would get a very warm half hour at the annual meeting of the trade union. He wanted some details as to what these incidental expenses were.
§ * MR. WEIR (Ross and Cromarty)
complained that naval cadets now, instead of being examined by the Civil Service Commission, had to pass the Admiralty Board and then undergo a written examination by Oxford University. He thought that this fact pointed towards the possibility of a vast amount of favouritism. The Civil Service Commission was above suspicion, and there should be no hole-and-corner business in examinations for the public services. But the surprising fact was that although the work of the Commission had diminished in the way he had indicated, and in other ways, the expenditure had not diminished. The whole system of examination for naval cadetships was extremely unsatisfactory, and yet we wore spending as much upon this Commission as we did in the past. He supposed the hon. Gentleman and not had enough time to acquaint himself with these matters, but he hoped he would do so. If these examinations were going to be conducted by an Admiralty board and universities, then the Civil Service Commission Vote would have to be diminished. The Civil Service Commission had done its work well, and he had no desire to diminish the Vote, but he hoped the Government would insist on all examinations for the public service being conducted by that body as in former years.
§ * CAPTAIN CRAIG (Down, E.)
said he was sorry that he differed slightly from his hon. friend for the West Derby Division of Liverpool as to the remarks he made about the men and boy messengers, because he thought that in all these Departments which held examinations, it was absolutely necessary occasionally to employ temporary clerks or boy messengers at reasonable rates. Therefore he thought the hon. Member's objection was very easily disposed of when applied to a Department such as this, which was fitful in its operations, and was active or 96 otherwise at different periods of the year, when there were or were not examinations being held. It seemed to him that the hon. Member's energy might have been directed to a much more serious and important point, and that was the fees which were charged in connection with the Civil Service examinations. The age in which we lived was one in which we were desirous of bringing into line the many classes who could not go to the various universities to be trained for particular examinations. But they had an estimate of extra receipts for fees of no less than £16,620. He would ask the Financial Secretary to the Treasury to take into consideration how those who wore poor, so far as the pocket was concerned, wore debarred by this means from entering the Civil Service. If the foes were reduced by one-half it would give much relief and satisfaction to the working classes, who, although they might be poor in pocket, were rich in brains. All they asked was that their sons should be given an opportunity, and that the Department might try and ascertain if they were suitable. Generally looking through the Estimate, although there might be an increase here or a decrease there, the whole thing turned upon this £16,620, and it was a question whether the Department would not be better served if there were introduced into the Civil Service men who would be drawn from the poorer class schools, which were producing boys perhaps better provided with qualifications for the work than boys who went to large schools or universities. He hoped the hon. Gentleman would give them some little hope that the poorer classes in pocket, although they might be rich in brains, should have a chance of being appointed to the higher grades of the Civil Service. He and his hon. friends would feel satisfied if the hon. Gentleman would give them some little hope that the fees would be reduced in order to enable the poorer class of labourers' sons and daughters to compete for these posts with offspring of the wealthier classes.
§ MR. T. L. CORBETT (Down, S.)
was sure the Committee would be very grate ful to the hon. Member for bringing before it so sympathetically the claims of those who wore now barred from an 97 honourable career by the extraordinary exaction of £16,000 or £17,000 as fees for examinations. [A laugh.] The Financial Secretary laughed, but he would not laugh if he were the father of some of those poor boys with a future barred to them by class legislation of the very worst kind.
§ MR. T. L. CORBETT
replied that he did not see why he should be submitted to that kind of cross examination. It stood to reason that if they exacted enormous fees of the character summarised in the Estimates there would be many who had been unable to provide the fees. What struck him most forcibly in these Estimates was that this Government of economy and retrenchment was in every case considerably increasing the expenditure of the country. Gibes had been flung at the Tory Party in the past as the Party of extravagance. The best test was to take the two columns of the Estimates page by page and they would find the amounts repeatedly augmented. The Civil Service Commission was not directly under the control of any Department, and he thought it was due to the new Members of the House that some short sketch should be given by the Financial Secretary of the work which really came under the control of the Commission.
And, it being a quarter past Eight of the Clock, and there being Private Business set down by direction of the Chairman of Ways and Means under Standing Order No. 8, further proceeding was postponed without Question put.