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Volume 202: debated on Thursday 7 July 1870

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said, he would beg to ask the First Lord of the Treasury, Whether the attention of Her Majesty's Government has been called to a statement prepared on behalf of the Permanent Civil Servants of the Crown in Ireland (and by them presented to the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland in October last), in which they show that a great disparity exists between the scale of their salaries and the scale of the salaries of gentlemen who fill corresponding offices in England, having regard both to the amount and quality of the services rendered and to the expenses of living in each Country; and, if so, whether Her Majesty's Government are prepared to redress this inequality?

Sir, in considering the question of the salaries of civil servants, the Treasury never proceeds upon general comparisons, or on allegations as between one class of civil servants and another in different parts of the United Kingdom. What they always require, when an application is made to them, is, that a comparison should be instituted, in the case of a Department, between that Department and one in which analogous duties are performed in other parts of the country; and upon the basis of such a comparison, we should draw our conclusion. We could not, therefore, deal in any case with the question of the salaries of civil servants in Ireland as a whole; and, while there is that difficulty, the Treasury are not able to admit that the main allegation made by the hon. Member is true, and that, regard being had to all the circumstances, officers are more penuriously paid by the public in Ireland than those of the same class in England. That is a matter which the Treasury would make it their duty to examine into in each case when it is brought before them.