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India

Volume 155: debated on Tuesday 27 June 1922

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Civil Service Pension Fund

3.

asked the Under-Secretary of State for India whether his attention has been called to the widespread apprehension among European members of the Indian Civil Service with reference to the Indian Civil Service Family Pensions Fund, having regard to the fact of the large number of Indian civil servants who are now coming upon the fund, whose conditions of family life are widely different from those of Europeans; whether, under these circumstances, the Government of India will be prepared to rescind the decision arrived at some years ago to extend the benefits of the fund to non-Europeans; and whether the fund will be forthwith divided into two sections, one European and one Indian, with separate accounts and separate actuarial calculations.

I have already had under consideration the effect on the Indian Civil Service Family Pension Scheme of the increase in the numbers of Indians in the Civil Service. It is not possible, however, at this stage to make any statement on the matter.

Has the Noble Lord fully before him the fact that this fund was constituted almost entirely by the contributions of the British civil servants, and that no Indian contributions at all were made to it before 1913, and then very few? Is there any reason why it should not be divided into two parts?

The whole question is under consideration, and the facts mentioned by the hon. Gentleman will, of course, be taken into consideration.

European Government Servants

7.

asked the Under-Secretary of State for India what steps he proposes to take to ensure that equality of treatment is given to all services and to all European Government servants in India?

Perhaps the hon. Member would be so good as to indicate in what respects he considers that inequality of treatment exists and should be remedied.

Is there not a difference between the ordinary Civil Service and the Indian Medical Service?

There are and always have been differences, but I am not sure what is the specific difference to which the hon. Gentleman alludes.

Will my Noble Friend consider putting the Indian Medical Service on the same terms of equality with regard to pensions and commutation as members of the ordinary Indian Civil Service?

My hon. Friend is aware that members of the Indian Medical Service are not the only ones affected in that respect. I will consider the whole matter.

Will the Noble Lord consider this matter from the point of view of the absolute difference between white and black in attending on white patients?

That is a very big question and one very difficult to answer at Question Time. I referred to it in my speech the other day. The whole matter, however, is receiving the earnest consideration of my Noble Friend.

Commitment Warrants, Punjab

9.

asked the Under-Secretary of State for India whether he will state the terms of the Instructions recently issued by the Lahore High Court to its subordinate magistracy, laying it down that on warrants of commitment the trying magistrate has to note whether the convict is of a superior status by reason of his educational attainments or social position?

I will ask the Government of India for a copy of the Instructions in question, which have not reached the Secretary of State. Their issue would be in accordance with a rule framed by the Punjab Government as to the classification of Special Class Prisoners as such, by reason of the nature of the offence and the antecedents of the offender including his social position, education, and standard of living.

Is there anything in the law in India that warrants men being treated according to their social position?

As I have endeavoured to explain in my answer the Punjab Government under the administrative powers it possesses has issued a circular on this subject, and if, as my hon. Friend suggests, there have been these differences made, they have been carried out under the rules.

Most emphatically certainly not. This matter is within the competence of the Legislative Assembly, and it would be impossible for my Noble Friend to suggest to the Legislative Assembly that it should go back upon what is within its competence.