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Army—Pensioners From Woolwich Arsenal—Question

Volume 217: debated on Tuesday 5 August 1873

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asked, Why men at weekly wages, who are pensioned from the Arsenal at Woolwich, are not permitted to commute their pensions in the same manner as salaried officers?

Sir, when the measures for carrying out the Act of' 1869 for permitting the commutation of pensions were under consideration, it was determined that the plan should not be extended to the lower ranks of the service—such as labourers in the Government manufactories. Exception was made in favour of cases in which men of those classes were about to emigrate, and for them arrangements have been made by which their pensions may be commuted, the proceeds of such commutation being paid, not to the men, but to the Emigration Commissioners on their behalf. The Government have seen no reason to alter their views on this matter, but continue to hold the opinion that it would not be beneficial to men of these classes to be allowed to commute their pensions, except for the purposes of emigrating.