I beg to ask the Prime Minister whether the salary of £2,500 a year paid to the Master of the Horse is for services rendered, and, if so, what those services are; and, if the services are not of an important nature,
will he give favourable consideration to the proposal to abolish this office, so that by the economy effected the salaries of more useful officials of the State, about to be appointed, may be provided without additional burdens to the taxpayer.†See (4)Debates, clxxix., 974.
A salary of £2,000 was attached to this post on the recommendation of the Select Committee which at the commencement of the present reign drew up the proposals for the Civil List which Parliament has approved. The Civil List settlement is in the nature of a statutory arrangement, and the total amount cannot be varied; and therefore no such result as my hon. friend desires can be effected by any adjustment of detail.
asked whether the right hon. Gentleman intended to introduce legislation in the interests of economy to reduce this sum of £2,000 for a sinecure office.
said that there would be no economy effected. This was an arrangement entered into by Parliament, and it was binding on it.
What are the qualifications for this post, and is it still vacant?
I do not think that concerns either my hon. friend or me, or anyone else in this House. ["Why?"] It rests with the King to apportion this money according as he finds it desirable and necessary.
Are we to understand that in the event of being abolished the post the £2,000 would go to His Majesty personally?
said that probably His Majesty would find some other means of disposing of it within the limits of the Civil List. That was an end of it as far as Parliament was concerned.
What are the duties of this official?
I have already said we have nothing to do with that. The duties are assigned to the office by His Majesty, and I know enough of them to be aware that the office is no sinecure.