asked the Prime Minister whether the Imperial Government propose to take steps to protect the interests of such of His Majesty's civil servants who may be absorbed in the service of the Irish Government, and will guarantee the pensions payable to existing civil servants in the event of such pensions not being forthcoming from Irish sources?
asked the Prime Minister whether the Civil Service Committee under Section 56 of the Government of Ireland Act 1920, has been set up; if so, whether they have laid down Regulations for the statutory conditions of retirement of civil servants under the Eighth Schedule of that Act; and whether the Imperial Government will take steps to amplify Article 10 of the Treaty of 6th December, 1921, relating to civil servants who are discharged by the Free State Government or who retire in consequence of the change of Government by the re-enactment of all the sections and schedules of the Act of 1920 relating to the Civil Service?
In reply to the first two parts of the question, I would refer the hon. and gallant Member to the reply which I gave to the hon. Member for Canterbury on the 16th instant. In view of the explicit terms of Article 10 of the Treaty, which are embodied in the Bill at present before the House, it does not appear that any advantage would arise from the adoption of the suggestion contained in the third part of the hon. Member's question.
If the right hon. Gentleman is referring to the Treaty, is there any guarantee under the Treaty to be compared with the guarantee which the civil servants possessed under the Act of 1920, which gave them not only the resources of the Joint Exchequer Board but the security of the residuary share of the joint taxes, which ensured the payment of their just claims and pensions?
All these matters will have to be subject to discussion and negotiation during the next few months. In the meantime there is no advantage in my going beyond the statement I have made.
asked the Prime Minister whether under Article 10 of the Agreement for a Treaty the judges, officials, and other public servants will, on the passing of the Irish Free State (Agreement) Bill, have the option of retiring on a pension, and within what period must that option be exercised; whether the Irish Free State Government or the Provisional Government will be entitled on the passing of that Bill, or at any time thereafter, to discharge all such persons without cause assigned; and whether the pensions of the persons so retiring or discharged will be guaranteed by the British Government, both in the case where their salaries and pensions are charged on the Consolidated Fund and in the case where these salaries are not so charged?
The matters referred to in the first two parts of the question are at present under discussion between the representatives of His Majesty's Government and of the Provisional Government, and I can say nothing further than that Article 10 of the Treaty entitles the persons concerned to treatment not less favourable than that laid down in the relevant provisions of the Act of 1920. In reply to the third part of the question, I would refer the hon. and learned Member to the reply which I have just given to the hon. and gallant Member for Bury St. Edmunds.
Will the right hon. Gentleman see that when this matter is discussed the option for retirement in two years, which was given by the Act of 1920, will be conferred upon these people on terms at least as favourable as those in that Act?
Was not the option of retirement only in those cases where civil servants were offered the occupation of a lower grade than before, and is it not necessary, under present conditions, to give them a wider option?