Officials (Compensation).

Oral Answers to Questions — Ireland. – in the House of Commons on 16th February 1922.

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Photo of Sir John Butcher Sir John Butcher , City of York

34.

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?

Photo of Mr Winston Churchill Mr Winston Churchill , Dundee

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.

Photo of Sir John Butcher Sir John Butcher , City of York

Does that deal specifically with the question of the judges, whose salaries and pensions are a charge upon the Consolidated Fund?

Photo of Mr Winston Churchill Mr Winston Churchill , Dundee

Yes, Sir; my answer was intended to cover that. It is perfectly clear that persons whose salaries are on the Consolidated Fund can only lose their position on that fund in virtue of special legislation passed by this House.

Photo of Mr Ronald McNeill Mr Ronald McNeill , 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?

Photo of Mr Winston Churchill Mr Winston Churchill , Dundee

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.

Photo of Mr Ronald McNeill Mr Ronald McNeill , Canterbury

Does that mean that the Free State Bill before the House to-day will not affect the position?

Photo of Mr Winston Churchill Mr Winston Churchill , Dundee

I do not think it will affect the legal position of persons under the Consolidated Fund.

Photo of Sir John Butcher Sir John Butcher , City of York

Having regard to the position of officials and public servants on the Consolidated Fund, will their pensions be guaranteed by this Government?

Photo of Mr Winston Churchill Mr Winston Churchill , Dundee

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.

Photo of Sir John Butcher Sir John Butcher , City of York

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that I have asked that very question on the Paper?

Photo of Mr Winston Churchill Mr Winston Churchill , Dundee

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.