Public Servants (Pensions and Compensation).

Oral Answers to Questions — Ireland. – in the House of Commons on 12th December 1922.

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

54.

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he can assure the House that the verbal guarantee given by the former Leader of the House on 19th December, 1921, and repeated by the former Colonial Secretary on 13th March, 1922, that His Majesty's Government will be the guarantor of the pensions and compensation granted under Article 10 of the Treaty, is as valid and effectual as if such guarantee were embodied in a Statute; and, if he is unable to give such assurance, whether he will state the reasons, if any, why such verbal guarantee should not be embodied in a Statute?

Photo of Mr Stanley Baldwin Mr Stanley Baldwin , Bewdley

I can add nothing to the answer I have already given to my hon. and learned Friend on the 5th December, and to the assurances and explanations which were given by the Government both here and in another place during the Debates on the Irish Free State (Consequential Provisions) Act.

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

Is my right hon. Friend aware that this question, which affects a very large number of loyal public servants in Ireland, has never yet been answered I Can he give any reason for not answering it?

Photo of Mr Stanley Baldwin Mr Stanley Baldwin , Bewdley

I do not agree with my hon and learned Friend. They are protected by statute under the Treaty.

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

Was a verbal guarantee given, to be embodied in a statutory guarantee, or not?

Photo of Mr Stanley Baldwin Mr Stanley Baldwin , Bewdley

Certainly not. I can see no reason for embodying it in a statutory guarantee, on the assumption that people already affected by the guarantee are going to break their word.

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

In view of the unsatisfactory character of the answer, I will raise the matter on the Adjournment to-night.