Members of Parliament (Salaries).

Oral Answers to Questions — Transport. – in the House of Commons on 27th May 1937.

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Photo of Lieut-Colonel Sir Assheton Pownall Lieut-Colonel Sir Assheton Pownall , Lewisham East

asked the Prime Minister whether he is in a position to give the decision of the Government on the question of Members' salaries?

Photo of Mr Stanley Baldwin Mr Stanley Baldwin , Bewdley

In accordance with the undertaking which I gave to my hon. and gallant Friend on 7th April, I have made careful inquiries into the question whether the salaries of Members of Parliament should be increased. The existing figure of £400 was fixed in 1911. It is, I think, obvious that, if £400 was adequate in the circumstances then existing, it cannot be so regarded in the very different conditions which prevail to-day. After careful consideration the Government have decided to propose to the House of Commons that the figure should be increased to £600. The necessary steps will be taken at an early date.

Photo of Lieut-Colonel Sir Assheton Pownall Lieut-Colonel Sir Assheton Pownall , Lewisham East

May I be permitted to express my thanks to my right hon. Friend for the decision that has been arrived at?

Photo of Mr Hastings Lees-Smith Mr Hastings Lees-Smith , Keighley

Will the proposal be framed in such a way as to enable the House, if it wishes, to use a fraction of the sum to create a scheme for a pension fund for Members of Parliament?

Photo of Mr Stanley Baldwin Mr Stanley Baldwin , Bewdley

I am not in a position to-day to add anything to the answer I have given, but perhaps, if a question were put down at an early date, it would receive attention.

Photo of Sir Percy Harris Sir Percy Harris , Bethnal Green South West

Can the right hon. Gentleman indicate when this proposal is likely to come into operation? Will it be at an early date?

Photo of Mr Stanley Baldwin Mr Stanley Baldwin , Bewdley

It might save time ii I repeat that I am unable to add anything to-day to my answer.

Photo of Mr Michael Beaumont Mr Michael Beaumont , Aylesbury

Will this proposal require fresh legislation; and, if so, or in any case, will my right hon. Friend consider the propriety, in view of the division of opinion in the House on this matter, of leaving it to a free vote of the House?

Photo of Mr Stanley Baldwin Mr Stanley Baldwin , Bewdley

I am not certain that it would be an act of propriety on my part to consider anything that this House might do next week.