asked the Prime Minister whether the compensation provided by Article 10 of the Treaty includes compensation for officials employed in Southern Ireland in services which were renewed by the Government of Ireland Act, 1920; and what arrangements have been made for securing or guaranteeing the payment of the compensation provided by that article for judges, officials, members of police forces, and other public servants who may be discharged by the Government of the Irish Free State, or who may retire in consequence of the change of Government affected by the Treaty?
The answer to the first part of the question is in the affirmative. In reply to the second part, I would refer the hon. Member to the reply which I gave yesterday to the hon. Member for Canterbury.
Does that mean that whereas these pensions in the Act of 1920 were secured by the powers of the Imperial Government reserving monies for payment that under the Free State it will be left entirely to the credit or otherwise of the Free State without any security being kept in this country?
I have said in regard to persons on the Consolidated Fund that their position is secure until legislation is passed to alter it. Of course, before such legislation is passed the arrangements made for these purposes must be considered and dealt with, or can be dealt with, from the position of legislation through this House.
I think we should run risks if we pursued this subject at question time. I happen to be well-informed upon this question of the judges, as I have had the advantage of seeing them on one occasion, and being in communication with them. But I prefer not to answer questions of the kind by my hon. Friend without notice, so that I can take advice on the subject.
I have given a full answer to the question, and have referred my hon. and learned Friend to the answer given yesterday to the hon. Gentleman the hon. Member for Canterbury.