§ MR. FELL (Great Yarmouth)
I beg to ask the Secretary of State for War if, in a contributory pension scheme for the workmen in Woolwich Arsenal and the other War Office Departments, he would view favourably a proposal that his Department should contribute an amount equal to the amount to be contributed by the workmen, and should advance the amount already earned as bonuses by the men as a nucleus for the pension fund.
§ THE SECRETARY OF STATE FOR WAR (Mr. HALDANE,) Haddington
It is impossible for the War Department to commit itself to the financial proposition suggested in the Question, a proposition which is quite novel as far as a Government Department is concerned, and I do not think the conditions under which bonuses are earned under the Superannuation Act would admit of advances being made. The workmen 1706 at Woolwich Arsenal have more than once put forward pension schemes, but they were all of them actuarially unsound. The War Office has supplied the workmen with actuarial calculations to assist them in formulating a self-supporting scheme and has suggested the lines it might take. If they can produce a scheme, I shall be prepared to consider it sympathetically and to give facilities for its operation.