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Civil Service

Volume 154: debated on Tuesday 23 May 1922

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asked the Under Secretary of State for India, considering that, under Schedule 8 of the Government of Ireland Act of 1920, officers in the service of the Crown allowed to retire owing to the change in the conditions of service are allowed to count from five to ten years' service towards the calculation of pension, in addition to the period actually served, for what reason officers of the imperial services of India, allowed to retire owing to the change consequent on the Government of India Act, 1919, are not allowed to count any extra service in the calculation of proportionate pensions; and whether the same concession will now be granted to officers in the Indian services as has been granted to officers of the Crown in Ireland?

The circumstances and conditions provided for by the Government of Ireland Act are not identical with those of Indian officers, and the Secretary of State is not prepared to revise the scales of pension offered to the latter after full deliberation, which are, in fact, more liberal than a strict proportion of length of service would provide.


asked the Under-Secretary of State for India whether the stipulation in the Government of India Resolution of 8th November, 1921, fixing the 31st March, 1924, as the last date up to which application from British members of the Indian services for permission to retire upon proportionate pensions in consequence of the changes under the Government of India Act, 1919, will be received by the local governments in India, is still to be enforced, or whether it will now be withdrawn?


asked the Under-Secretary of State for India whether it is intended to modify the Indian Civil Service special retirement terms so as to render the period allowed to members for deciding whether or not they wish to retire on proportionate pensions coterminous with the time fixed for the probation of the new régime in India?

I am still unable to add anything to the reply I gave, to the hon. Member for Sevenoaks on this matter on 12th April, of which I will send the hon. Members a copy. The Secretary of State has again telegraphed to the Government of India asking them to expedite their recommendations.


asked the Under-Secretary of State for India whether, in view of the present unwillingness of British candidates to compete for the Indian Civil Services and of the power taken in Section 96 (b) (2) of the Government of India Act to authorise the Indian Legislatures to make laws regulating the conditions of service in the Civil Services of India, the Secretary of State will alter the covenant of the Indian Civil Services so that it shall include all the more important conditions of service including time scale, pay, leave, and pension rules?

I cannot accept as established by such facts and experience as are at present available the first ground for my hon. and gallant Friend's suggestion. As regards the second, there is no intention of delegating to Indian Legislatures power to regulate the conditions of service of the All-India services the members of which are appointed by the Secretary of State in Council. The Secretary of State therefore sees no sufficient reason for adopting the suggestion, which would present great technical difficulties.


asked the Under-Secretary of State for India whether it is intended to give any further security than at present exists to that half of a retiring Indian civil servant's pension which is secured upon the revenues of India.

I am not clear what distinction the hon. Baronet intends to draw. Though Indian civil servants were required, until recently, to contribute towards their annuity, the whole of the annuity payable to them is a statutory charge on Indian revenues. On the general question I invite the hon. Baronet's attention to paragraphs 3 and 4 of the published dispatch of the 9th February from the Secretary of State's predecessor to the Government of India, of which I will send him a copy.

Do these rules as regards the pension being a charge on the revenues of India apply to all civil servants?


asked the Under-Secretary of State for India if he can give the House any information regarding the extent to which the Indian Civil Service has been Indianised in its personnel?

The Government of India reported that in 1921 the proportion of Indians was 13 per cent., since then 38 Indians have been appointed, which would increase the proportion to about 16 per cent.


asked the Under-Secretary of State for India whether he received a cable from the Indian Civil Service Central Association at the beginning of April requesting early orders on memorials submitted about two years ago, especially regarding pensions, passages, and allowances; and what action has been taken in the matter?

Yes, Sir. The Government of India have been authorised to inform the memorialists, through the respective local governments, of the decisions taken on all the matters that have been finally settled. As regards outstanding matters, I would refer the hon. Member to the statement made in another place by the Secretary of State on 11th April, to which I am not at present in a position to add anything.


asked the Under-Secretary of State for India what steps have been taken to carry out the expressed intention to compensate the Indian Civil Service for the loss of prestige and prospects stated in the Montagu-Chelmsford Report to be inherent in the reforms; and whether, seeing that the only steps which have so far been taken amount merely to a small revision of pay and that such revision works out to an average of only 8 per cent. increase, and in many cases involves an actual loss, he will say what further compensation or relief it is proposed to give?

I cannot find in the Montagu-Chelmsford Report any statement such as that suggested in the first part of the question. On the contrary, it was stated that higher qualifications than ever will be required of the members of the Indian Civil Service, and for this purpose improvement of the conditions of service was recommended. The revision of pay is not the only step which has been taken; among other concessions, officers will not in future be required to contribute 4 per cent, of their salary towards retiring annuity. As regards further action, I am not in a position to add anything at present to the statement made by the Secretary of State in another place on 11th April.

Is the Noble Lord aware that there is great discontent in the Civil Service and that unless something is done to alleviate that discontent, there will soon be no British members left at all?

I cannot accept what the hon. Member says. I do not think that that is a proper statement to make. The question is not capable of being dealt with by question and answer, and should be more properly dealt with in Debate.