Page images
PDF
EPUB

describe that this police reporter was | Address for a Return showing, for each
endeavouring to force his way to the of the years from 1881 to 1886 inclusive
platform? I also wish to know from (1) Total number of constables pro-
the Attorney General whether he will moted to the rank of sergeant; (2) num-
do his best to get information in the ber of the above who at the time of
course of to-day, as I am anxious about their promotion either were over 35
the matter?-the combatants being my years of age or had served in the force
constituents, of whose conduct I am in- upwards of ten years.
tensely proud to-day.

MR. SPEAKER said, the hon. Mem-
ber could not move for the Return, as it
was opposed.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, order! MR. SEXTON: I beg to give Notice, Sir, that I shall strenuously resist any progress being made with the Appropriation Bill unless a full and official account is laid before the House to-day. DR. TANNER (Cork Co., Mid): Isary. wish to ask the right hon. and learned MR. PICKERSGILL said, that he Gentleman whether it is a fact, as 'is would move it at the close of the Sitting. shown by to-day's papers, that the commencement of this terrible affair

MR. SEXTON: I must remind the right hon. Gentleman that there are other Questions on the Paper which have not yet been put.

DR. TANNER: Hear, hear!

MR. SPEAKER: Order, order! A
number of Questions have been asked
on this matter, and the Ministers have
replied that they are not in possession (Mr. Jackson, Mr. Chancellor of the Exhequer.)
of sufficient information. The matter
cannot be carried further.

SUPERANNUATION ACTS AMEND.
MENT BILL.-[BILL 354.]

CONSIDERATION.

DR. TANNER: I bow to your deci sion; but--

MR. SPEAKER: Order, order! The Clerk will now proceed to read the Orders of the Day.

[blocks in formation]

MR. PICKERSGILL said, that there was no Notice of opposition on the Paper.

MR. SPEAKER: That is not neces

METROPOLITAN POLICE.

MOTION FOR A PAPER.

MR. PICKERSGILL (Bethnal Green, S.W.) said, he rose to move for an VOL. CCCXXI. THIRD SERIES.]

ORDERS OF THE DAY.

-0

Bill, as amended, considered.

Clause 2 (Power to grant retiring allowances to persons removed).

|

THE SECRETARY TO THE TREASURY (Mr. JACKSON) (Leeds, N.) said, he rose to move the omission of words from the clause, which provided that the particulars of a civil servant's inability to discharge efficiently the duties of his office should be set forth in the Treasury Minute granting an allowance.

Amendment proposed, in page 2, line ticulars of his inability to discharge 6, to leave out the words "the parinefficiently the duties of his office."(Mr. Jackson.)

Question proposed, "That the words. proposed to be left out stand part of the Bill."

SIR GEORGE CAMPBELL (Kirkcaldy, &c.) said, he strongly objected to this Amendment. He thought it was only reasonable that these particulars should be given. This was a Bill to give the Treasury a discretion which hitherto had been exercised in an illegal and irregular manner. If public servants made themselves sufficiently disagreeable, they were got rid of in the prime of life with large superannuation allowances, the result being that their services were lost to the public, while an additional burden was imposed upon the

G

[ocr errors]

taxpayer. He had no doubt that both security was taken under the clause as
the First Lord of the Treasury and the it stood, because it provided that the
Secretary to the Treasury were vigilant Treasury Minute granting the allow-
guardians of the public purse, but they ance should set forth the amount of the
had pressure put upon them, and, as the allowance and the reasons for granting
old proverb had it, quis custodist ipsos it and should be laid before Parlia
custodes? He had been for some years ment.
sitting in the House, but it was only DR. TANNER (Cork Co.. Mid) said,
lately he had come to understand that that the Bill, which was of considerable
the Auditor General was no real check. importance and very long, had never
It was true that the Auditor General been discussed except in the small hours
often reported that certain grants of of the morning. There was one particular
pensions and other grants were illegal, point connected with the general ques-
irregular, and unauthorized, but they tion of superannuation which he thought
were got through by the Committee of ought to be considered by the House.
Public Accounts. That Committee was
no doubt an excellent body, but it was
composed of Members of that House,
and the Government had great influence
over them. He did not remember one
single case in which the Public Accounts
Committee proposed that these illegal
and irregular payments should be re-
fused by the House. The words proposed
to be left out were allowed to remain in
the Bill during its two previous stages,
and he now made an appeal from Philip
drunk to Philip sober of the Treasury
not to strike them out.

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. Gentleman must not discuss the provisions of the Bill, but must confine himself to the Amendment.

DR. TANNER: I had not the slightest intention of doing so.

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. Gentleman was certainly doing so.

DR. TANNER said, his only object was to lead up to the Amendment of the Secretary to the Treasury, which struck out of the clause the words "the particulars of his inability to discharge efficiently the duties of his office." His own opinion was that whenever a civil servant was superannuated, whether

MR. JACKSON said, the matter was really a very trivial one.

SIR GEORGE CAMPBELL: Not from accident, old age, inefficiency, or at all.

disease, the cause should be clearly
stated. He hoped the House would
divide against the Amendment, as he
believed it would destroy the whole gist
of the clause.

MR. PICKERSGILL (Bethnal Green,
S.W.) said, that there was reason to
complain that at the last moment this
change, which was a most important
one, should have been sprung upon the
House. He asked for the retention of
the words in the interests of the civil
servants. If there was security that
the civil servant should know the pre-
cise grounds upon which he was dis-
charged his objection would be met. He
did not understand what security there
was that the civil servant would be able
to ascertain the precise grounds.

MR. JACKSON said, that the hon. Member appeared to be under the impression that since the Bill passed the second reading and the Committee stage some pressure had been put upon the Government to strike out these words. That was not the fact. He was not aware that the words had been left in the Bill. He admitted that was his own fault, because he agreed when the Bill first came before the House to strike out the words, as he thought them unnecessary and needlessly offensive.

SIR GEORGE CAMPBELL: With whom was the agreement made?

MR. JACKSON said, it was made with those who thought their interests were affected. The hon. Gentleman complained that in discharging a disagreeable duty the Treasury sought to discharge it in a manner as little disagreeable as possible. If a man was given a certificate of inability it was entirely unnecessary to give the particulars and set them forth to the world. So far as knowledge of the circumstances was desirable full and complete

THE SECRETARY OF STATE FOR THE COLONIES (Sir HENRY HOLLAND) (Hampstead) said, that under Section 2 the Secretary to the Treasury was required to state the amount of the allowance granted to a discharged civil servant, and the reasons for such allowance. The only point was whether it was necessary to go further and state the par

[ocr errors][ocr errors]
[ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]

DR. TANNER: No!

MR. SPEAKER: Does the hon. Mem-
ber name a Teller?

DR. TANNER: I name the hon.
Member for North Kildare (Mr. Carew).

MR. SPEAKER: Will the hon. Mem-
ber tell?

MR. CAREW (Kildare, N.): Yes, Sir.
Question put.

The House divided:-Ayes 8!; Noes
16: Majority 65.-(Div. List, No. 472.)
Bill read the third time, and passed.

BANKRUPTCY (DISCHARGE AND CLO-
SURE) BILL.-[BILI. 327.]

CONSIDERATION.

THE CHAIRMAN OF COMMITTEES (Mr. COURTNEY) (Cornwall, Bodmin) said, he regretted that the omission of these words had been proposed. They were a defence and protection to the Treasury. While the House, as a rule, looked to the Treasury to prevent extravagance, the Treasury itself was not so strong that it could afford to throw (Mr. Attorney General, Mr. Solicitor General, away a protection if it could obtain it, Baron Henry De Worms.) and that protection was being thrown away out of delicacy to the feelings of the officer himself. He thought they were carrying that delicacy too far in refusing to put in the Minute the reasons why the officer was discharged. The Treasury were occasionally pressed to allow retirements of which they did not approve; and if they were able to put in the certificate the reasons for the discharge, they would find in that a protection which they were now, for reasons which appeared to him totally inadequate, going to throw away.

THE ATTORNEY GENERAL (Sir RICHARD WEBSTER) (Isle of Wight) said, if he thought the hon. Gentleman was right in the view he had taken of the words he would support his contention. But he ventured to think that, as the words stood, they were sufficient protection to the Treasury. There were cases in which it was very desirable to state, and the Treasury would state, the

reasons for the dismissal if it was neces-
sary to protect themselves; but, on the
other hand, there were cases in which it
would not be necessary to do so in order
to protect the Treasury, and yet if those
words were retained they would be com-
pelled to do it, and therefore, as the

Bill, as amended, considered.

Motion made, and Question proposed. "That the Bill be now read the third time."-(Mr. Attorney General.)

DR. TANNER (Cork Co., Mid) said,
he had an Amendment to move to the
second clause of the Bill,

hon. Gentleman cannot move an Amend-
MR. SPEAKER: Order, order! The
ment, as the Question is that the Bill be

read a third time.

DR. TANNER: "As amended to be

considered " is on the Paper.

MR. SPEAKER: The Question before the House is that the Bill be read a third time.

DR. TANNER: I challenge a Division.

MR. SPEAKER: Will the hon. Mem

ber name a second teller?

DR. TANNER named the hon. Mem

ber for North Monaghan (Mr. P.
O'Brien).

Question put.

The House divided: -Ayes 80; Noes
14: Majority 66.-(Div. List, No. 473.)
Bill read the third time, and passed.
G 2

[ocr errors]

DEEDS OF ARRANGEMENT (No. 2) BILL [Lords]-[BILL 381.] (Mr. Attorney General.)

CONSIDERATION.

Bill, as amended, considered.

Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the Bill be now read the third time."-(Mr. Attorney General.)

MR. CLANCY (Dublin Co., N.) said, he did not think it right that the Bill should be read a third time in this summary way without some explanation of its contents being given to the House. The Attorney General, who had sprung the Bill upon them, had stated on a previous occasion that the Bill had been discussed last Session, and that it had been considered by several Irish Members of Parliament.

THE ATTORNEY GENERAL (Sir RICHARD WEBSTER) (Isle of Wight): I said the Bill was considered this Session.

MR. CLANCY said, that so far as he

recollected the Bill had never been discussed in the House, or, at any rate, he had never been present during its discussion, in spite of the fact that the Attorney General said that he (Mr. Clancy) had taken part in the discussion. He should like to move an Amendment to the 5th clause, and he had understood that such opportunity would be offered on the Report. He should like to know whether or not he would be entitled to move an Amendment.

MR. SPEAKER: I distinctly asked the House whether there were any Amendments to this Bill, and the hon. Member in charge of it said "No." Therefore, the next step was to put to the House the Question that the Bill be read a third time.

MR. CLANCY: May I move an Amendment now?

MR. SPEAKER: No Amendment can be moved now.

MR. CLANCY said, in that case he must protest, by way of taking a Division, against the third reading of the Bill. The measure had been hurried through the House in the early hours of the morning.

MR. CLANCY: I was going to give

some reasons

MR. SPEAKER; Order, order! I must warn the hon. Gentleman.

MR. CLANCY said, he was only stating his reasons against taking the third reading now. He hoped he might be permitted to add that if he had had an opportunity he would have moved an Amendment to Clause 5, under which the period for registration was to be seven days. It appeared to him that that was a very short time to allow. This seemed to be a clause for filling the pockets of the lawyers with fees. On this ground and on other grounds he begged to move that the Bill should be read a third time on this day three months.

MR. SPEAKER: Does any one second that proposal?

DR. TANNER (Cork Co., Mid): Yes, Sir, I do.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, order! The hon. Member is not entitled to go into that matter now. He is not discussing the Bill or anything connected with it.

Amendment proposed, to leave out the word "now," and at the end of the Question to add the words "upon this day three months."-(Mr. Clancy.)

Question proposed, "That the word 'now' stand part of the Question."

|

MR. COURTNEY said, that perhaps he might be allowed to clear up a misapprehension which appeared to exist in the mind of the hon. Member. The hon. Member said that the Bill had only been brought in at early hours of the morning, and that it had not been discussed in that House at all. This Bill was a peculiar one. A Bill precisely the same word for word as the present Bill quitted the House of Commons early in the Session. It was discussed at considerable length, and the hon. Member for Kilkenny (Mr. Chance) took great interest in it, and co-operated largely with the hon. Member for Hull (Mr. King) and the Attorney General in bringing it to a third reading. The Bill went up to the House of Lords, but its promoters in this House were unaware of the necessity of getting some Peer to take it up and prosecute its progress in the other House. Along with one or two other Bills which went up to the House of Lords with the full concurrence of the House of Commons, it was delayed until after the time when it was possible for it to be taken by their Lordships. It therefore practically became a dropped Bill. In order that the

[ocr errors][ocr errors]

time and labour of this House might not be wasted, their Lordships apparently spontaneously brought in a new Bill word for word the same as the measure which had left the House of Commons. That Bill being passed in the House of Lords now came down to this House, and this House was now asked to go through what was perhaps an empty form, that of reasserting and reaffirming what was done at an early part of the Session. That was the excuse for the Bill being passed without explanation or consideration in the early hours of the morning, which the hon. Member complained of. The hon. Member would see that the House had had full knowledge of the Bill. As a matter of fact, the Bill was as much the work of the hon. Member for Kilkenny as of its original promoters. He trusted that the hon. Member would not persist in his Motion.

MR. SEXTON (Belfast, W.) said, he
also hoped that after the elaborate and
courteous explanation of the hon. Gen-rate, for a considerable time to come.
tleman the Chairman of Committees, The whole question was ripe for legis-
for which they were all very thankful, lation. The House and every branch
his hon. Friend would withdraw his of industry were agreed in the pro-
opposition, though that opposition had, visions embodied in the Special Report
in the absence of any explanation on of the Committee, and he believed the
the part of the Attorney General, been Government had actually a Bill ready
quite justified.
for presentation to the House, founded
upon that Special Report. What was
the consequence of the conduct of
Business by the Government? The
whole class of seamen was excluded
from the provisions of the Employers'
Liability Act, and besides that whole
classes of men were now compelled by
the terms of their service to contract
themselves out of the benefit of the
Act. Other recommendations of the
Committee which would have found
acceptance were, for the time being,
absolutely wasted, and the present im-
perfect law was to be continued by the
hand-to-mouth method of this Bill. He
protested against this miserable way
of carrying on the Business of the
country. He hoped that the Attorney
General would state in the clearest way
what was the intention of the Govern-

ment with regard to the Bill, and the
recommendations of the Committee, and,
in the meantime, he moved that the
House resolve itself into Committee on
the Bill this day three months.

MR. CLANCY said, that this discussion would have been obviated if the explanation given by the Chairman of Committees had been given at the outset by the Attorney General. It was part of the policy of Her Majesty's Go

vernment to

MR. SPEAKER: Order, order! The hon. Gentleman has no right of reply. Amendment, by leave, withdrawn. Main Question put, and agreed to. Bill read the third time, and passed, with Amendments.

EXPIRING LAWS CONTINUANCE BILL.
(Mr. Jackson, Sir Herbert Maxwell.)
[BILL 363.] COMMITTEE.
Order for Committee read.

Motion made, and Question proposed, "That Mr. Speaker do now leave the Chair."

so he would move that the Speaker
should leave the Chair that day three
months. This Bill provided for the con-
tinuance of a number of Acts of various
kinds, and which were continued in a
hand-to-mouth fashion from Session to
Session without any opportunity being
given for their reconsideration. It con-
tinued, for instance, the Employers'
Liability Act. The whole subject-matter
of that Act had been threshed out be-
fore a Select Committee of the House.
There was no reason whatever why a
new Employers' Liability Bill should not
have been passed into law in the present
Session; but the Government, instead
of taking up useful projects of that
kind, had thought fit to fritter away the
time of an unsually prolonged Session
in so-called Business which could not
possibly conduce to the well-being of the
Empire, or any part of it. The labours
of the strong and industrious Committee
on the Employers' Liability Act had
been practically thrown away, at any

MR. ARTHUR O'CONNOR (Donegal E.) said, he desired to draw attention to several matters in connection with the Bill, and for the purpose of doing

[merged small][ocr errors]
« PreviousContinue »