To ask the Minister for Finance—(a) To state what exactly are the terms offered to Civil Servants under the Treaty, and wherein they differ from the terms set forth in the 8th Schedule of the Government of Ireland Act, 1920? (b) In Departments such as the Intermediate Education Board, where officials hold directly from the Board, does the incorporation of the Board in the Ministry automatically abolish the positions held by such officials, and if so, if such officials are not entitled to be given a choice between compulsory retirement and the acceptance of a similar or equivalent post elsewhere? (c) In such cases do the provisions of the British Commutation of Pensions Act apply? If not, what is to take its place? And in either case how many years' purchase is to be allowed according to length of service? (d) Has the Government power to postpone such retirements; and, if so, for how long? (e) What proportion does the Cost of Living Bonus bear towards the estimation of pension? (f) What exactly is the meaning of the sentence, “On what basis is compensation claimed?” in the form supplied to claimants by the Civil Service Committee?
CEISTEANNA—QUESTIONS. - CIVIL SERVANTS—EFFECT OF TREATY.
MINISTER for FINANCE
Any Civil Servant who is discharged or who retires in consequence of the change of Government is entitled, under Article 10 of the Treaty, to compensation on terms not less favourable than accorded in the Act of 1920. As already announced in the Dáil, the Government has set up a Committee, consisting of two official representatives and two representatives of the Staff, with an impartial Chairman, to advise as to the compensation payable and all matters connected therewith, and I must decline to prejudice the proceedings of that Committee by making any statement of the Government's views on matters yet to be decided by the Committee. Questions (b) and (d) belong to this category. As regards question (c), the Pensions Commutation Acts apply to any pensions that may be awarded under Article 10 of the Treaty, but I must point out that under those Acts commutation is not a right of the pensioner, the power to commute being a discretionary matter for the Ministry of Finance. Commutation of pension is an actuarial problem into which length of service does not enter. As regards question (e), the Committee has already advised that bonus should be treated for compensation pensions in the same way as for ordinary pensions. As regards question (f), I understand that the question on the form is directed to ascertain whether compensation is claimed in respect of retirement or in respect of discharge.
Arising out of that, I would like to ask the Minister if he could let us know, or if he could conjecture, any kind of date when answers would be available from the Commission in reference to questions (b) and (d). Those were the two that he stated could not be answered, because an answer now would prejudice the findings of the Commission.
MINISTER for FINANCE
I understand the work of this Commission is being speeded up very considerably, and I have no doubt that we will have information within a short period about the matters referred to. I cannot, however, give a date.