Ministry of Pensions.

Oral Answers to Questions — Government Departments. – in the House of Commons on 3rd May 1923.

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Photo of Mr Arthur Hayday Mr Arthur Hayday , Nottingham West

17.

asked the Minister of Pensions whether the late regional director of the Northern Region was transferred to the South-Western Region at his own request; whether his removal expenses were paid; whether the present regional director, Northern Region, was transferred from Nottingham to Newcastle to fill the vacancy, as the regional headquarters at Nottingham were being closed; whether his removal expenses have been, or will be, paid; and, if so, will he state why the lower grade clerical staff cannot receive the same privileges on transfer as regional directors with a salary of £875 per annum, who have, in addition, service pensions?

Photo of Mr George Tryon Mr George Tryon , Brighton

The answer to the first part of the question is in the negative and that to the second part in the affirmative. When the transfer of a particular officer to a new station is necessitated by the public interest, removal expenses may be paid. This rule applies to all ranks, permanent or temporary.

Photo of Mr Arthur Hayday Mr Arthur Hayday , Nottingham West

Will the right hon. Gentleman reconsider the position of the clerks who are redundant at Nottingham, in view of the fact that their salaries are only £3 per week and it is well nigh impossible for them to take up appointments in Birmingham unless assisted by the payment of removal expenses?

Photo of Mr George Tryon Mr George Tryon , Brighton

I am afraid I cannot give any undertaking such as the hon. Member asks for. If any of them are removed by our wish, as being essential for our requirements, then it will be open to them to claim payment.

Photo of Mr Arthur Hayday Mr Arthur Hayday , Nottingham West

Was not a promise given that the redundant servants at Nottingham would be allotted to vacancies at Birmingham; and if these vacancies are offered and accepted and the removal takes place, will not the Department consider the payment of the removal expenses, as they do in the case of the higher paid permanent officials?

Photo of Mr George Tryon Mr George Tryon , Brighton

It is not a case of whether they are higher paid or not. When we send a man, whatever his rank, from one place to another, by our orders his removal expenses are paid—not otherwise.

Photo of Mr Arthur Hayday Mr Arthur Hayday , Nottingham West

If in consequence of the removal of the Department from Nottingham to Birmingham, these men take vacancies in Birmingham, whether at the request of the Department or not, will the right hon. Gentleman undertake to pay removal expenses?

Photo of Mr Jack Lawson Mr Jack Lawson , Chester-le-Street

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that one of the higher officials who got removal expenses has £900 a year in addition to £1,000 pension?

Photo of Mr George Tryon Mr George Tryon , Brighton

I am not prepared to go beyond what I have said.

Photo of Mr Arthur Hayday Mr Arthur Hayday , Nottingham West

Does it not appear that it is a farce to say you will find vacancies for £3 a week clerks if you make it impossible for them to accept the vacancies?

Lieut.-Colonel WATTS-MORGAN:

19.

asked the Minister of Pensions whether, in the case of discharges of temporary officers on the ground of redundancy, priority of retention is accorded as follows: disabled ex-service men, overseas ex-service men, other ex-service men, and non-service men; whether the non-service men in his Department are mainly permanent civil servants; and whether, before discharging a temporary ex-service man as redundant, he will consider the question of reverting a permanent civil servant, non-service, to the Department whence he was transferred to the Ministry of Pensions?

Photo of Mr George Tryon Mr George Tryon , Brighton

Subject to the overriding consideration of efficiency, the answer to the first two parts of the question is in the affirmative. The suggestion made in the concluding paragraph is impracticable; the permanent posts formerly held by these officers have naturally been filled. In any case, their reversion would not be in the public interests, nor would it add to the total number of ex-service men in the employ of the State.

Photo of Mr John Muir Mr John Muir , Glasgow Maryhill

20.

asked the Minister of Pensions what is the name and salary of the principal officer in each region; whether some of these officers are permanent civil servants and some temporary civil servants; and whether, seeing that, though performing duties of equal importance and responsibility, the

Region.Name of Principal Officer.Salary.
£
LondonLieut.-General Sir W. Furse, K.C.B., D.S.O.975
ScotlandLieut.-Colonel H. L. Warden, D.S.O.975
NorthernMajor-General F. H. Kelly, C.B., C.M.G.875
North-WesternLieut.-Colonel C. H. Townsend900
YorkshireDr. F. G. M. Simpson (Acting)1,300*
WalesLieut.-Colonel Bickerton Edwards, C.B.E.1,300*
West MidlandsLieut.-Colonel E. V. Sydenham, D.S.O.900
East Midlands
South-WesternCaptain H. G. Alston, C.B., R.N.875
UlsterDr. A. E. Knight, D.S.O., M.C.1,200*
Ireland (South)C. A. Pim875
* Also holds the post of Commissioner of Medical Services.

All those officers are temporary civil servants and the latter part of the question does not, therefore, arise.