1. The compensation which may be awarded to the officer shall be such gratuity or annual allowance (if any) as the Civil Service Committee think just having regard to the following considerations, that is to say:—
I beg to move, in paragraph 4 (1), after the word "clerks" ["Clerks shall be deemed"], to insert the words "and assistants in the offices of the clerks of the Crown and Peace."
In this Schedule a number of officials in Ireland are made civil servants and are protected under this Bill. My Amendment seeks to include among them the assistants in the offices of the clerks of the Crown and Peace. They have done special work for a number of years. They have had a long training and they are the only men fit to do that work. I think it is only fair to them, considering the training which they have had, that they should receive the protection which other officials are given under the Bill.
I beg to move, at the end of paragraph 4, to insert:
(2)) If on the appointed day there is not in operation a scheme under the provisions of Section fifty-two, Sub-section (2), of the Irish Land Act, 1909, then for the purposes of the provisions of this Act relating to existing officers such of the officers or persons employed by the Congested Districts Board for Ireland as the Treasury have provisionally approved for inclusion in a scheme under that Section shall be deemed to be officers serving in an established capacity.
I cannot say that I fully understand this Amendment, and in that respect I am not at all in a peculiar position compared with some hon. Members who proposed other Amendments. I have not the slightest doubt whatever I may lack in explanation of the Amendment will be supplied by other hon. Members. As far as I understand the Amendment the purpose is to put officers who are provisionally included in the scheme on the appointed day in the same position as officers who are actually included in the scheme, and they will be deemed to be officers serving in an established capacity and will therefore reap the benefit of the Bill. It would seem a very hard thing if officers who were provisionally included did not receive the benefits of the Bill.
I am afraid I cannot accept this Amendment. I very much doubt whether, if the hon. Member who moved had studied his own Amendment, he would have proposed it. What he is seeking to do is to give un-established officers of the Congested Districts Board rights which only established officers have at the present moment. While it may well be desirable to promote unestablished officers into a position similar to that held by established officers, I do not suppose the hon. Gentleman would wish to take away rights given to the established officers under any scheme formulated. I am not at all satisfied that the effect of this Amendment would not be to bring people on to the Established Officers Fund who have not contributed and have no right to be there. The Board are empowered to prepare superannuation schemes out of their own funds for their own established officers. My hon. Friend is trying to include officers who are not established.
I gather from the right hon. Gentleman that if a scheme had been formulated, put forward and approved, he would not have objected to the inclusion of these officers. If that is his attitude then he ought to know that it is not the fault of these men that a scheme has not been approved, but the fault of the Department in which they served, and which declined to facilitate them. I am sure he will not hold that they should be penalised for no fault of theirs when they have done all in their power to put themselves within the provisions of the Bill. The least the right hon. Gentleman can do is to keep the matter open, so that it may be taken up with the Department in order to ensure the approval of a scheme.
There is already a proposal which deals with the officers of the Congested Districts Board, and I am quite prepared to reconsider this along with the other Amendment. I want to do justice. The difficulty is that there are so many different forms of employment that to group them altogether might be doing injustice.