§ (1) The following provisions shall apply with respect to officers or servants of any undertaking of which possession has been retained or taken under this Act (all of which officers and servants are in this Act hereinafter referred to as "existing officers and servants"):
- (i) Where the Minister requires the services' of any existing officer or servant, that officer or servant may be transferred to the Minister—
- (a)either permanently with the con sent of the officer or servant; or
- (b)temporarily with the consent (which shall not unreasonably be withheld) of the officer or servant, and of the owners of the undertaking;
- (ii) No existing officer or servant so transferred, whether temporarily or permanently, shall, without his consent be, by reason of such transfer or anything done under this Act, in any worse position in respect to the conditions of his service (including tenure of office, remuneration, gratuities, pension, superannuation, sick fund or any benefits or allowances, whether obtaining legally or by customary practice), as compared with the conditions of service obtaining with respect to him at the passing of this Act, and if any question arises as to whether the provisions of this paragraph have been complied with the question shall be referred to a, standing arbitrator or board of arbitration appointed by the Lord Chancellor for the purposes of this Section, and if the arbitrator or board consider that those provisions have not been complied with and that the officer or servant has thereby suffered loss or injury, they shall award him such sum as they think sufficient to compensate him for such loss or injury:
- (iii) Where an existing officer or servant has been transferred either temporarily or permanently to the Minister under this Section then so long as the Minister remains in possession of that undertaking that officer or servant may remain a full member of any pension or superannuation fund established in connection with the undertaking with all the rights to which he would be entitled had he continued in the service of the undertakers, and any contributions payable under the rules of the pension or superannuation fund or by customary practice by the owners of the undertaking may be paid by the Treasury out of moneys provided by Parliament, and he shall be entitled to receive such reasonable allowances for temporary disturbance as the Minister with the consent of the Treasury may determine (including direct pecuniary loss sustained in consequence of the transfer):
- (v) The Minister may direct that the office or situation of any existing officer or servant which he deems unnecessary shall be abolished:
- (vi) If by or in consequence of a direction of the Minister any existing officer or servant is, during the period of possession by the Minister of any undertaking, required to perform duties such as are not analogous or which are an unreasonable addition to those which he has, prior to the date of the passing of this Act, been required to perform such officer or servant may relinquish his office or service:
- (vii) Every such officer or servant who so relinquishes his office or service as aforesaid, and every such officer or servant whose services by or in consequence of any such direction are dispensed with on the ground that his services are not required, or for any reason not being on account of any misconduct or incapacity, or whose salary, wages, or remuneration are reduced on the ground that his duties have been diminished by or in consequence of any such direction, or who otherwise suffers any direct pecuniary loss in consequence of this Act (including any loss of prospective superannuation or other retiring allowances, whether obtaining legally or by customary practice), shall be entitled to be paid by the Minister compensation for such pecuniary loss, to be determined by the Treasury, subject to appeal to such standing arbitrator or board of arbitration as aforesaid, in accordance with the provisions contained in Section one hundred and twenty of the Local Government Act, 1888, relating to compensation to existing officers, and those provisions shall apply accordingly as if they were herein re-enacted with the necessary modifications:
Provided that in the case of any officer or servant who was appointed to his office as a specially qualified person at an age exceeding that at which public service usually begins, such addition may be made to the amount of compensation authorised under the said provisions as may seem just, having regard to the particular circumstances of such case
§ (2) Any person formerly in the employment of the owners of an undertaking of which possession is retained or taken under this Act, who on the date of the passing of this Act is, though not legally entitled thereto, in respect of a pension or other superannuation allowance, shall continue to receive from the owners of such undertaking the same pension or allowance on the same terms and conditions as if this Act had not been passed.
§ (3) Any person who, at the date of 'the! passing of this Act, was in the employment of the owners of an undertaking of which possession is retained or taken under this Act and who, during the period of such possession, would, though not legally entitled thereto, in accordance with customary practice, be granted a pension or superannuation allowance by the owners of such undertaking, shall not be in any worse position in regard thereto by reason of the passing of this Act.
Amendment made. In Sub-section (1), after the word "which" ["of which pos session has"], insert the words
or of any part or plant of which."—[Mr. Shortt.]
Mr. J. JONES
I beg to move, in paragraph (ii.) to leave out the wordsand if any question arises as to whether the provisions of this paragraph have been complied with the question shall be referred to a standing arbitrator or board of arbitration appointed by the Lord Chancellor for the purposes of this Section, and if the arbitrator or board consider that those provisions have not been complied with and that the officer or servant has thereby suffered loss or injury, they shall award him such sum as they think sufficient to compensate him for such loss or injury.The object of this Amendment is to make the Clause apply in all its purposes for superannuation and compensation. In the Committee we proposed an Amendment on these lines. Owing to a, misunderstanding' members of the Committee "were, to some extent, left under a misapprehension and the majority of the members of the Committee thought that this Amendment had been carried, but we were informed by the. Chairman that this was not the case, and that the only chance we had was to raise, the matter when the Bill came down to the House. At present superannuation and compensation for loss of position only apply under paragraphs (ii.) and (vii.) The object of this Amendment is to make compensation and superannuation apply so far as the whole Clause is concerned. We are very anxious as to this matter, because in every case of these undertakings, particularly railways, the members of the staff subscribe to a superannuation fund and, so far as compensation provided under the Act is concerned, the staffs will only receive compensation on the basis of the Civil Service. There is this essential difference between the railway staffs and the Civil servants. The railway staffs are compulsory contributors to the various funds; the Civil servants are not part and parcel of a compulsory system of contribution. In this case we are anxious that in the event of a dispute between the Government and the staff in the event of the loss of office, or as to the amount of superannuation, the same mode of arbitration shall apply in all cases.
§ Colonel GRETTON
This Amendment raises a question of considerable importance. The hon. Member desires to safeguard the position of officers or servants transferred from a railway or other undertaking, possession of which has been taken by the Minister, so that they will be in no worse position. This Clause lays down that the following provisions shall 1089 apply: where the Minister requires the services of any existing officer or servant, that officer or servant may be transferred to the Minister either permanently or temporarily. This Clause contemplates the permanent transfer to the Government's service of the servants of an undertaking possession of which is taken for only two years, and this means a very serious interference with the workings of these undertakings. No doubt, if there is a permanent transfer, and reason is shown for this transfer, the future of these people should be most carefully safeguarded, and my hon. Friend is perfectly right in raising the question and satisfying himself that these interests are to be so safeguarded. I imagine that no person can be taken into the Civil Service of this country except under the conditions of the Civil Service, and the proposal of the Bill as it stands is that in cases of that kind there should be arbitration. My hon. Friend has not made clear to me the particular reason why he wants this Amendment in place of some other provision in the Act. Members of the House who were not on the Committee may consider this matter to be somewhat mysterious, and may like some explanation. I would, therefore, ask the right hon. Gentleman why it is necessary that the servants of an undertaking of which it takes temporary possession under this Act should be transferred permanently to the service of the Ministry, which is only set up for two years, and how he proposes to safeguard the interests of persons so transferred?
§ Sir E. GEDDES
It may be convenient to the House that I should answer the question at this stage, because it is fundamental. My hon. Friend who has just spoken is under a misapprehension as to the duration of the Ministry. The Bill sets up the Ministry permanently. It gives certain powers temporarily, but the transference of the powers under Clause 2 is the transfer of powers to a permanent Department, and unless Parliament should decide that the Ministry of Ways and Communications is no longer necessary, the Ministry will continue. It may be said that it would be a mistake to employ permanently in the Ministry officers or servants who are at present in the employment of these undertakings, because at the end of the period of two years it is for Parliament to decide as to the proposals which must 1090 be submitted under this Hill. This Bill is framed with the very object of enabling the Department to submit proposals as to the future transportation of this country, and it would be a mistake to transfer a large number of officers or servants to the permanent service of the State, but at the same time it can be readily understood that during the two years there are some officers and servants occupying certain positions who could be used us experts, and it is only from these undertakings that we can draw experienced men, unless we have to go to British subjects in the Argentine or elsewhere. There are some positions where it is absolutely undesirable, if not impossible, to employ, even during the two years, an officer or a servant who has to go back to his undertaking. There arc certain posts where the advice given must be given by a man who is entirely independent of any undertaking in future, and, as we can draw for experts only upon undertakings which exist in this country, unless we, are going to limit our choice enormously or do an injustice to these officers or servants, we must in a few instances—a limited number, I agree—transfer them permanently; but it is desirable that we should have power to take into the permanent, service of the State a number of these servants if we expect them to give completely un-biassed advice. That is why permanent powers are asked for.
§ Mr. WATERSON
I hope the Minister-designate will accept this Amendment. There is no doubt that during the next two years there will be many disturbances. Men will be transferred from one particular part of the industry to another, and in that disturbance they will be called upon to make no mean sacrifice unless their particular interests are safeguarded. It is within the knowledge of the Minister-designate that men particularly such men as this will apply to, have been paying into superannuation funds, pension funds, and death funds. When these men are transferred they will hardly be aware of the exact position which they will occupy, and it may even happen in more cases than one that although they may receive a slightly larger salary than they have hitherto been paid they will eventually find themselves, when all is reckoned up, to be the losers. It is to prevent that that the Amendment is moved. I have in my mind that on the London and North-Western Railway there 1091 is a pension fund to which the men are subscribing week by week. If any of the individuals who subscribe to the fund are taken over by the Minister-designate and are transferred, we are anxious that the justice of their case shall be seen by the Minister-designate, and if he sees it in the light in which we see it there is no need for the remaining portion of this paragraph. Further, there are men in the service to-day who are past sixty-five years of age. From patriotic motives and because the railway companies have been short of men, these servants have been retained in membership in the railway industry. We know many of them will be retired and that already schemes are being laid for them to be superannuated. They have paid for many years into the pension fund. We are anxious that their interests should be safeguarded. It is not necessary that a mere arbitration board should be set up for these cases. The very fact that these men have been in the service ought to justify their being participators in the things they have paid for during many years. In the interests of such men I hope the Minister-designate will accept the Amendment.
§ Mr. NEAL
I trust we shall hear from the Minister-designate a statement on the very real point raised on behalf of the officers who may be disturbed either by transfer to the Ministry or in any other way under this Act. The Amendment is the first of a series of Amendments standing in the name of myself and one other, and I take it that the object they have in view may be stated shortly in this way: Under the Clause, if you look at page 10, Sub-section (7), it will be seen that there is an endeavour to bring the officers or servants within the provisions of Section 120 of the Local Government Act of 1888, relating to compensation to existing officers. But it is by no means clear that that will accomplish what is desired. There is an attempt being made here to treat them as if they were Civil servants. Under the scale of compensation for Civil servants, as I understand it, the practice is to calculate each year of service as one-sixtieth of the final annual salary, then to multiply by forty, and to arrive at two-thirds as the maximum compensation payable by way of annuity. But, under some decision of the Treasury, that has been interpreted as coming to a final maximum of one-half, and, as I am informed, the 1092 representatives of the railway staffs affected are of opinion that the Bill as it stands would give them only very limited compensation. Further, the ordinary Civil servant is not a member of an ordinary superannuation fund, but these men are members of these funds, into which they have paid vast sums. I am instructed that there is over £12,500,000 invested in these funds at this moment.
I am not responsible for the drafting of these Amendments. I have not had time to consider them sufficiently carefully to make it clear in my mind that they carry out what was intended, but I think I interpret what is intended by saying that they relate to two points. Members of the staffs desire to be assured (1) that their maximum compensation may reach two-thirds of their final salaries according to the Civil Service scale, and (2) that that will not be taken in any way in derogation of the superannuation funds to which they have contributed during a long period of service.
§ Sir E. GEDDES
I think there is nothing at all in principle between the Government and my hon. Friends who have moved this Amendment. We desire just as they desire that there should be full justice done to the staffs, and, if I may, without transgressing the rules of Order, just explain what the position is as regards arbitration under this Clause, I think it will help the House. The first point on which there is arbitration under Clause 6 is if officers or servants should be transferred cither permanently or temporarily. The House will recollect that that can only be done in both cases with the consent of the officer or servant. There we have provided arbitration, and it will be seen from paragraph (ii) of Subsection (1) that the arbitration is to be by an arbitrator or board of arbitration appointed by the Lord Chancellor. That is arbitration when the consent has been obtained.
§ 9.0 P.M.
§ Sir E. GEDDES
I will come to that later. Thus there is arbitration if an officer or servant is transferred temporarily or permanently with his consent. The arbitration there would, of course, be on a question of fact as to whether the gratuities, pensions, superannuations, sick fund, or other benefits, were in fact 1093 being given to the man as he believed they were to have been given. Paragraph (iii) of Sub-section (1) is merely an enabling Clause, and there there is no arbitration, and I think arbitration is not necessary in that case. In the first place it is a provision merely enabling the officer or servant so transferred temporarily or permanently to remain in the superannuation fund to which he has been paying during the period of control. If he is temporarily transferred he remains in the fund, and power is taken for the State to pay what is known as the company's contribution during the period of control, and if at the end of the period of control he goes back to the undertaking then the State is out of pocket to the extent of the contributions which the State has made in lieu of all contributions which the company would have made to the fund on behalf of the individual. That was put in in order to save the State in the event of temporary transfer from having to take over the whole future liabilities of that man's pension. The second portion of that paragraph (iii.) of Sub-section (l) enables the Minister, with the consent of the Treasury, to make the officer or servant so transferred an allowance for disturbance such as the Minister, with the consent of the Treasury, may determine. For that I agree there is no arbitration, and I do not think the House would ask arbitration there, because when you transfer a man the first thing he will say is, "This is going to put me to expense, "as it must, and then he is told," We will give you so much a year, or by the month, or by the week, for this temporary transfer. You are transferred by the Ministry with your consent, and you want to know what your allowance is going to be, and here is what it is." In that case I do not think there ought to be arbitration, because it is a matter for the Minister to determine and then to ask the man whether he likes to transfer or not. With that allowance, apart from the mere technical aspects of the case, there is no practical danger to the officer or servant, because in every case the man will say, "What allowance will I get?'' It is the first thing he will ask, and the first thing the Minister will have to settle. To say that the Minister can make this arrangement, and get the man's consent, and that then there is to be arbitration as to whether the sum which he 1094 has consented to take is right or not, does not seem to me to be a suitable subject for arbitration.
§ Sir E. GEDDES
It is not a question of compensation, but of allowance. You may wish to transfer a man, for instance, who is a clerk or a draughtsman, and to bring him from Derby or Crewe to London but he can only come with his consent, and you say to him, "Here is the salary, and you remain in the superannuation fund just as you were, and will you come if I give you such-and-such an allowance?" Paragraph (iii.) of Sub-section (1) enables the Minister, with the consent of the Treasury, to settle the allowance, and the man cannot be made to transfer either temporarily or permanently without his consent Paragraph (iv.) deals with officers or servants who are not transferred. If the man does not consent but remains in the service which he was in before he was asked to transfer, there are these fears, but I do not think they amount to a great deal. The matter was discussed in Committee, and the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Derby (Mr. Thomas) thought that there was not much ground for them. There is the case of the man who may be displaced. Owing to economies by the operations of the unified control there may be a certain number of men redundant. If they are displaced, then arbitration is provided for them under paragraph (vii.) of Sub-section (1) as to men whose services by or in consequence of any such direction are dispensed with. If, on the other hand, instead of being displaced the man is offered work which is not reasonably comparable to the work he was doing, —that is to say, if a clerk were offered work as a goods porter, then he is entitled to relinquish the position ho holds, and this paragraph provides for arbitration in that case by an arbitrator or board to be appointed by the Lord Chancellor. So that in the three main features of this Clause we have two in which the Govern- 1095 ment agree that arbitration should be made, and we have one paragraph where the Government think that arbitration should not be given I think I have made the matter clear to the House.
We come to Sub-sections (2), (3) and (4) of Clause 6. This is merely providing that nothing which the undertakers gave by custom or otherwise shall by reason of this Act be withdrawn from the employés. There is no arbitration there, and I do not think there ought to be arbitration, because you would then be imposing an arbitrator and an arbitration where it does not exist to-day, and throughout this Bill we have avoided altering the status quo. That is merely saying that the existing state of affairs is to continue as between the undertaker and the employés. As to the particular point which my hon. and learned Friend who has just spoken drew attention to, the provisions for the compensation to officers or servants under Sub-clause (vii.), there, I think, the point is as to the superannuation benefits which have accrued but have not become payable. I think that is met by an Amendment later on in the name of the hon. Member for Westhoughton (Mr. Tyson Wilson), which the Government is prepared to accept, and which provides that account shall be taken of the accrued benefits but not the matured benefits in the superannuation fund, and that comes in to the proviso at the end of Sub-clause (vii.), where we provide that in the case of an officer or servant appointed at a greater age he shall get some consideration. I think that, with the exception of the particular provisions where no arbitration between the undertaker and the employé exists to-day, and the one point, namely, the settlement of the allowance which the officer or servant is asked to accept before he gets the consent to transfer temporarily to the Ministry, arbitration is provided throughout.
§ Mr. NEAL
Is he able to give information as to what would be the maximum pension, whether it would be one-half or two-thirds, and whether the Amendment in the name of the hon. Member for Westhoughton, to go in at the end of Sub-section (vii.), namely,In determining such compensation the expression 'the Acts and rules relating to Her Majesty's Civil Service in Sub-section (1) of Section one hundred and twenty of the Local -Government Act, 1888, shall mean the Acts and 1096 rules relating to His Majesty's Civil Service which were in operation at the date of the passing of the Local Government Act, 1888,would not make it clear that it would be two-thirds?
Mr. TYSON WILSON
The object of the Amendment before the House is to bring within the scope of the arbitration the whole of the questions that might arise in the matter, and I would like to ask the right hon. Gentleman whether he does not consider that under Sub-clause (vii.) of Clause 6 it is possible that disputes may arise as to what is due to a man or other questions between employer and employé. There is no difference in principle between the right hon. Gentleman and ourselves, only we want the Arbitration Board to apply to all the persons who may be affected, and i submit that in Sub-clause (vii.) cases will arise where it will be necessary to have adjudication between the Department and the servants concerned. In an Amendment later on the Paper we are proposing to re-insert, with a small addition, the words we are now proposing to delete, and the reason for that is to bring within the scope of the Arbitration Board any and every question that may arise, wherever there is a difference of opinion between the Ministry and the persons concerned. I am certain it is a very reasonable request. The right hon. Gentleman says that in Sub-section (iii.) there is nothing to go to an arbitrator. Very well, then, if the right hon. Gentleman accepts the Amendment the efficiency of the Bill will not be affected in any way.
§ Sir E. GEDDES
I have evidently failed to make myself clear. Under Sub-clause (vii.) arbitration is provided, and that covers any officer or servant who is affected by Sub-clauses (iv.), (v.), and (vi.). There is arbitration in Sub-clause (vii.), and there is arbitration in Sub-clause (ii.). In Sub-clause (iii.) there is no arbitration.
§ Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.
§ Sir E. GEDDES
I beg to move, in Sub-section (1, iii.), to leave out the word "undertakers," and to insert instead thereof the wordsowners of the undertaking."This is purely a drafting Amendment. The owners of the undertaking is the wording which has been used throughout, 1097 and I wish, therefore, to substitute it in this Sub-clause for the word "undertakers."
§ Amendment agreed to
§ Sir F. BANBURY
I beg to move, at the end of Sub-section (1, v.), to insert the wordsProvided that in exercising these or any other powers under this Act the Minister shall do nothing to deprive the directors of the undertakings of the services of any officer whose advice and assistance will in the opinion of the directors be essential to them in their conduct of the undertaking at the end of the period of possession by the Government.The House will see that under Sub-section (1) of this Clause the Minister can obtain permanently, with the consent of the officer or servant, his services. The result of that might be that the Minister might take away from a railway company, for instance, the general manager, or the solicitor, or the chief traffic superintendent, or the goods manager—
§ Sir F. BANBURY
Or the officers whoso services would be essential if the undertaking was returned to the proprietors at the end of the two years. I would point; out to the right hon. Gentleman that ho has already told us that under this Bill he does not intend during these two years to do anything which will in any way prejudge the question of nationalisation. I think he will agree with me when I say that if he were to deprive the railways of their chief officers and instal them permanently in other Departments of the Government, then, at the end of the two years, when these undertakings are returned, the directors of these undertakings would have great difficulty in continuing the services. I think this is an extremely reasonable Amendment, and I always thought the Government had overlooked it and would themselves put it in. Only a couple of hours ago we were assured that it was not contemplated to do anything under this Act which would in any way affect the question of nationalisation, or make it more difficult for the directors of the undertakings to continue their undertakings efficiently at the end of two years, and in view of that I do not think there can be any doubt that the Government will accept the Amendment. Should the Government at the end of two years come to the conclusion that it is necessary to nationalise the undertakings, ray Amendment would not 1098 in any way interfere with doing that in the Bill which they would have to bring forward to achieve that object. I am nut in any way pre-judging the question of nationalisation, and I expect the Government to accept this Amendment in order that they may not in any way prejudge that question.
§ Sir E. GEDDES
I fully sympathise with my right hon. Friend in his point, but the House has already agreed, in Sub-section (1) (i) of this Clause, that an officer or servant may be transferred permanently with his consent. I think it would be a serious thing for this House to accept this Amendment when it debars an officer or servant from accepting an appointment which ho wishes to accept permanently with the State, merely because the directors of an undertaking—quite justifiably, no doubt—wish to keep him, and say, "No; you shall not go. "That does not seem to me to be in accordance with liberty of contract between employers and employés. Then this Amendment is very wide. It says, "Provided that in exercising these or any other powers." I can quite conceive that, looking ahead, a railway company, or a dock company, or any other undertaking, might wish to make sure that they have not only the best advisers, but the second-best advisers, and they could appoint a deputy or second general manager or a second solicitor, and that would be paid for by the State. I do not say they would do it, but in this Bill, as we have found throughout, you have got to look at contingencies which may never arise, and I do not think it would be in keeping with the responsibilities of a Minister, who is, after all, responsible for the actual expenditure of these undertakings for two years, that he should be in a position that he had to accept the appointment of a special officer retained by a particular company because of his particular abilities. He might be in a dual position. Or they might wish to retain a man because another is going to retire, when the companies return to their ordinary position. Much as I feel with my right hon. Friend on this point, I do not think the House ought to accept the Amendment. It is one of the inevitable disadvantages which, on the face of the document, appear to be placed on these undertakings. If it is a temporary transfer I agree we ought to get the consent of the Undertakers, and that is provided for in this Clause, Sub-section (1), (i), (6), which 1099 has been passed by the House. If the State wishes temporarily to obtain the services of an officer or servant, and that officer or servant is essential, in the opinion of the directors, to the running of the concern, they can withhold that consent, and that is provided for. Therefore, I think that, so far as it is reasonable and right, we are meeting the point which has been made, and I hope the House will not pass this Amendment.
Mr. WILS ON-FOX
It seems to me that this proposed Amendment can be looked at from two points of view—the point of view of the directors of any undertaking, which has been put by my right hon. Friend the Member for the City of London (Sir F. Banbury), and the point of view of the State itself, a point of view which I think was suggested in connection with the last Amendment, or the one before, by ray hon. Friend the Member for Burton (Colonel Gretton). It seems to me that until the Government knows what it is going to do at the end of the two years' experimental period, it has no business to make permanent appointments of technical officers who may be redundant. They "will be men highly skilled with high salaries, who may be out of a job, and they may not then, under the conditions foreshadowed, be able to return to their former employment, and will consequently have to be compensated at the expense of the State. I do think the Minister-designate should give the House a more explicit assurance than he has done at present, that the most that is contemplated during the two years is—to use an Army phrase—to second these men to these positions which he may require them to fill. He has said that during the two years he may require the services of men who must, during that period at any rate, be independent of interests in connection with any particular company, if men are seconded they are in that position, and they may be trusted, as most responsible men in this world are, to fulfil any duties entrusted to them impartially and fearlessly. I am quite sure if, later on, they returned to their old employers and to the big undertakings with which they were connected, the directors of those undertakings would think more highly of them than they did before, because in the meantime they had served the State honestly and well in the capacity in which they had been placed. Therefore, I hope, on business grounds, and from the point of view of carrying out the under- 1100 taking which he gave this afternoon that, during the period of two years trial, it is not his intention to take any action which may in any way destroy or impair the existing organisation, he will see his way to give the House some farther assurance in the direction I have just suggested.
§ Sir F. BANBURY
The right hon. Gentleman has advanced two arguments against the Amendment. The first is that it would deprive the officers in question of an opportunity of entering the services of the State; the second is that it is more or less provided for in Sub-section (1, i., b), which says that the officers cannot be transferred temporarily except with their own consent and the consent of the directors. The first point, that the Amendment will prevent any officer entering the service of the State, is, I venture to think, a mistake.
§ Sir E. GEDDES
I do not think I said "any officer." I said it might prevent an officer entering the service of the State.
§ Sir F. BANBURY
Yes, "an officer." But that is not so. All my Amendment says is that, in exercising these or any other powers under this Act, the Minister of Ways and Communications cannot put an officer into his Department. The Amendment does not prevent the Chancellor of the Exchequer, or the Secretary of State for War, or the Admiralty, or the Board of Trade taking an officer and putting him into their Departments. All it does is to prevent this one Minister, and this one Minister alone, from taking an officer and putting him into his Department.
§ Sir F. BANBURY
I think the Labour Members will accept what I say, and will not dispute that when I say a thing it is correct. If I say that in my opinion I hold this view I am sure they will accept that statement. I am the last person to prevent anybody in this country, whoever he is, and I do not care what he is, from doing the best he can for himself. That has been my line, that a man should be allowed to do the best he can for himself. That is not always the line of hon. Members opposite; apparently they wish to make everybody equal, I do not. If an officer wished to obtain employment under the Government, whether as First Lord of the Admiralty or anything else, I should 1101 be only too glad to see him get it. But that is not my Amendment. My Amendment is aimed at one thing only, at preventing the Minister, whoever he is, because it may be a different Minister, from deliberately taking those whose services are absolutely essential to a company and putting them in a position which might be quite superfluous and redundant in his own Ministry.
§ Sir F. BANBURY
No, I used those words. That is the only point in the Amendment. It is to prevent the right hon. Gentleman, or his successor whoever he may be, from taking men who are absolutely necessary for the conduct of an undertaking and putting them in his Department, and at the end of the two years preventing the railway or dock company or any other undertaking from being able to continue their business because he has secured their head men in the employ of the State. So far as that goes, this is a most reasonable and necessary Amendment. With regard to the second point, that this Amendment is met by Sub-section (1, i, b), that Subsection is really, shall I say, rather camouflaged. Supposing the right hon. Gentleman wishes to take my general manager temporarily, and I withhold my consent, all he has got to do is to take him permanently. That is the effect of the. Sub-section, and its protection vanishes. My Amendment is not only reasonable but absolutely necessary, and it is not met by the arguments of the right hon. Gentleman. I know he will not think I am guilty of any want of courtesy towards him when I say that he has either not appreciated the point or that, having done so, he has failed to meet it with any reasonable answer.
§ Amendment negatived.
Further Amendment made: In Sub-section (1, vi), after the word "possession" ["period of possession"], leave out the words
by the Minister of any undertaking."—[Sir S. Geddes.]
§ Sir F. BANBURY
I beg to move, in Sub-section (1, vii), after the word "retiring" ["superannuation or other retiring"], to insert the wordsor death.1102 This being a very unimportant Amendment I presume the Government will accept it.
§ Amendment agreed to.
Mr. TYSON WILSON
I beg to move, at the end of Sub-section (1, vii), to insert the words,In determining such compensation the expression ' the Acts and rules relating to Her Majesty's Civil Service ' in Sub-section (1) of Section one hundred and twenty of the Local Government Act, 1888, shall mean the Acts and rules relating to His Majesty's Civil Service which were in operation at the date of the passing of the Local Government Act, 1888.The reason I move this Amendment is because when the Bill was under discussion in Committee, and this Clause was being considered, the right hon. Gentleman made a certain statement in regard to what the compensation would be. He said that the effect of interpreting the provisions of Section 120 of the Local Government Act of 1888 would be to allow compensation to be awarded on the same basis as was granted to the servants of all local authorities.
Perhaps the right hon. Gentleman has not looked into the matter so fully as he might have done when he made that statement. As a matter of fact, the scale of compensation referred to was based upon the Civil Service scale under the Superannuation Act of 1859, but that scale has ceased to operate since 1909. In consequence of the new Superannuation Act for Civil Servants having been passed in that year, when compensation is awarded it is awarded, instead of being one-sixtieth of the salary for each year of service, at only one-eightieth. The Amendment as drafted on the Paper, if accepted by the Government, would place any redundant servants or officials in exactly the same position in which assistant overseers were placed under the Representation of the People Act. We ask that the same policy should be adopted.
§ Sir F. BANBURY
On a point of Order. This Amendment would increase the charge upon the State, and therefore, as it is impossible to increase the charge on the Report stage, may I inquire whether it is not out of order?
§ Mr. DEPUTY-SPEAKER (Mr. Whitley)
It rather seems to me, from the speech of the right hon. Gentleman in introducing 1103 the Amendment, as if that would be so. I was going to ask the right hon. Gentleman on the Treasury Bench what was his point of view, so as to have a guide, for I cannot profess to be sufficiently familiar with the two Acts that decide the point.
§ Sir E. GEDDES
If the facts were as my right hon. Friend opposite supposes, I think, undoubtedly, his proposal would increase the charge, and therefore, Sir, it would possibly be out of order. But I do not think the facts are as he has stated. Perhaps I could better help matters if I explain. I see where the mistake is. Prior to 1909—the date given by my right hon. Friend—the compensation given was one-sixtieth for each year of service. After 1909—and I would ask the House to recollect or to realise that this is only applicable after 1909—compulsorily to those who enter the service after 1909. So that really we are talking of those who might be displaced. The only ones, therefore, to whom this would apply are young men. They cannot be a, very big number, because they must have entered since 1909. After that year the basis was altered, and became, instead of one-sixtieth, one-eightieth of the retiring salary as an annuity for each year of service. In the later enactment a lump sum, a retiring donation, equivalent to one-thirtieth for each year of service, was given. My right hon. Friend omitted' to mention that in speaking to his Amendment. I said in Committee—and I am not responsible for the figures, which are from the Treasury—that I was advised that actuarily it is practically the same thing. It is optional, and, while I do not say it is identically the same, it is practically the same. The proof of that is this: after the new enactment was brought in every Civil servant, if he wanted to, transferred from the old basis to the new. I am assured by many Civil servants to whom I have spoken that a large number did transfer voluntarily because they preferred the lump sum to getting an annuity, which enabled them to make financial arrangements in a way they preferred. I am told there is not much difference between them, if anything. Therefore, as a matter of fact, I do not think there is a difference. But if there is the difference that my right hon. Friend fears, it would undoubtedly, as I am advised, be an increased charge on the Exchequer.
If the facts are as stated by the right hon. Gentleman, will he say 1104 why it was thought necessary to insert the Clause in the Representation of the People Act dealing with the redundant or compulsorily retired assistant-overseers?
§ Mr. DEPUTY-SPEAKER
On the facts as presented I am afraid I must rule the Amendment of the hon. Gentleman out of order.
I beg to move, in Subsection (1, vii.), after the word ''begins" ["at which public service usually begins"], to insert the wordsor of any officer or servant who suffers any loss of prospective superannuation or other retiring allowances as aforesaid.I understand the right hon. Gentleman is prepared to accept this Amendment.
§ Sir F. BANBURY
It may be necessary, in consequence of my Amendment a few minutes ago, to make a similar Amendment here.
§ Mr. DEPUTY-SPEAKER
Would the words suggested by the hon. Baronet not come in better after the word "retiring''?
§ Sir F. BANBURY
I beg to move, as an Amendment to the proposed Amendment, after the word "retiring,'' to insert the words "or death."
I was taken a little by surprise, and probably I moved my words in the wrong place.
§ Amendment to proposed Amendment agreed to.
§ Proposed words, us amended, there inserted in the Bill.
Further Amendments made: In Subsection (2) after the word "which" ["of which possession is retained"], insert the words
or of any part or plant of which.
In Sub-section (3) after the word "which" [''of which possession is retained"], insert the words
or any part of plant which."—[Sir E. Geddes.]