Private Business. - Superannuation and Pensions Bill, 1962—Second Stage.

Question proposed: "That the Bill be now read a Second Time."

This amending legislation improves the superannuation code for civil servants in several important respects. It also solves a number of hard cases where a minor amendment of the code makes this possible without giving rise to further difficulties. The Bill, however, is not confined to changes in the superannuation code for civil servants but also makes provision for a number of improvements in the superannuation position of other public servants and the position of certain former Deputies and Senators who are now in necessitous circumstances.

One of the major changes in the superannuation code for civil servants is the improvement in the gratuities payable to unestablished or non-pensionable officers when they cease to hold office. Some years ago, an agreed report under the Conciliation and Arbitration Scheme recommended that the qualifying period of service for these gratuities should be reduced from 15 years to 7. I accepted this report and lowered the qualifying period to 7 years at the time, in anticipation of the enactment of this Bill. Having given that concession, it was urged on me that the amount of the gratuity should be increased and the Bill now provides, apart from the concession mentioned, that unestablished civil servants with more than 15 years' service will get two weeks pay for each year of service in excess of fifteen instead of one week's pay for each year of service as hitherto.

It must not be forgotten that most unestablished staff are insured for the purposes of the Social Welfare contributory old age pension and even at present rates, this can qualify a married man for a pension of up to £4 a week. Quite a number of the unestablished staff would not qualify for a pension of this amount under the Superannuation Acts even if all their unestablished service could be treated as established. This is because they would not have sufficient service.

It may be argued that more civil servants should be established but this is a separate issue distinct from the matters dealt with in this Bill. The principal provisions of the Bill modify the superannuation code applicable to established civil servants but perhaps before I deal with those provisions, I might say a few words on the general question of the establishment of unestablished classes.

Firstly, we already have almost 20,000 established civil servants. Of those who are unestablished, almost half are part-time employees. Many of the wholetime unestablished officers are employed in a purely temporary capacity.

Moreover, this whole question of the establishment of unestablished classes was discussed under the Conciliation and Arbitration Scheme and the following principles were formulated:

Firstly, an opportunity of obtaining established status should be given to whole-time civil servants coming within the scope of conciliation and arbitration in regard to whom the following three conditions were fulfilled:

(i) that the work being performed by the officers was, as far as foreseeable, of a permanent nature and admitted the fixing of a definite cadre of established posts,

(ii) that the officers had served satisfactorily for a specified minimum period which should normally be not less than three years, and

(iii) that the officers were not ineligible for establishment on age grounds.

The second principle was that the competitive procedure prescribed by the Civil Service Regulation Acts would have to be applied for the filling of the established posts and finally, that consideration of the granting of opportunities of establishment, in the light of these principles, would be a matter for the General Council or Departmental Councils, as appropriate, under the Conciliation and Arbitration Scheme.

It is accordingly open to the Staff Side, in any case where they consider an existing unestablished grade or any part of it should be accorded established status in accordance with these principles to bring a claim before the appropriate Departmental or General Council. Similarly, in the case of a grade in which there are both established and unestablished posts, the proportion of established to unestablished officers may be reviewed at the request of the Staff Side and the quota of established posts increased, if circumstances justify this having regard to the principles I have just outlined.

I now move on to Section 4, which makes another important change in the Civil Service superannuation code. This section deals with transfers from the Civil Service to approved organisations. Hitherto, the main superannuation provision dealing with transfers was Section 4 of the Superannuation Act, 1914, which enabled the grant of a deferred pension related to service and salary in the Civil Service to a person who transferred to "approved employment", the pension being payable by the Exchequer on ultimate retirement from that employment. Section 4 of this Bill, on the other hand, will enable an approved organisation to reckon the person's previous service in the Civil Service as pensionable service so that on his retirement, his pension will be calculated on aggregate service in the Civil Service and the approved organisation and pensionable salary in the organisation. Normally, a person's retiring salary is the most favourable one on which to base his pension, so it can be seen that the provision for the transfer of pensionable service is quite advantageous by comparison with the provision for a deferred pension. The Exchequer will make a contribution to the ultimate pension which will probably be equivalent to the deferred pension which would otherwise be payable had the person been given the "approved employment" terms of the 1914 Act.

The provision will not apply to everyone who leaves the Civil Service to take up other employment, or even to everyone who transfers to an approved organisation. Apart from the obvious requirement that transfer must be from one pensionable employment to another, each transfer must receive prior approval. This condition is necessary to avoid the disruptive effect which the uncontrolled loss of trained staff would have and there is little doubt that such losses would arise if staff could resign at will and still retain their superannuation benefits. Moreover, there is no reason why an Exchequer payment should be pledged in the case of a person whose transfer to an approved organisation was motivated mainly by considerations of personal advantage. The whole purpose of the transfer provision is to facilitate transfers in the public interest which might not otherwise take place and not to make a profitable transfer motivated mainly by self-interest even more profitable.

The section also applies to transfers to the Civil Service from approved organisations and also to transfers between approved organisations themselves. This also breaks new ground in the field of superannuation.

Finally, a word about approved organisations. What I have in mind here are really organisations which operate in the public sector of the economy such as State-sponsored boards and companies and possibly the universities.

A further change of importance in Civil Service superannuation is accomplished by Section 6 of the Bill. This provides for the grant of "added years" of notional established service to two groups of civil servants. The first are redundant officers and the second are certain professional officers who are required to have had a specified number of years of pre-recruitment experience in order to qualify for appointment.

One of the fundamental principles underlying the Superannuation Acts is that pension should be related to length of service so that if one man serves the State for the whole of his career and another for half, the latter's pension should be half that of the former. The grant of notional service materially affects this principle, but I feel that while it is essential to retain the principle of relating pension to length of service, a departure is warranted in the two circumstances for which provision is made in Section 6.

Hitherto the provision for redundancy compensation provided that such compensation should not exceed the superannuation which would be payable if the redundant officer was obliged to retire on grounds of ill-health at the time he became redundant. Section 6 will now enable such compensation to be increased to the amount which would be payable if the redundant officer's service were up to 10 years longer.

As I have already mentioned, the other group to whom notional years of service may be granted under Section 6 are certain professional officers who are required to have had a specified number of years of pre-recruitment experience in order to qualify for appointment. This requirement naturally has a restrictive effect on the field of recruitment and the offer of notional service to such officers is designed to offset this effect by making the Civil Service posts more attractive. In other words, the provision for the grant of notional years of service to certain professional officers is designed as a recruitment incentive and will only apply to future recruits.

Senators may ask—what about the serving professional officers? These have not been neglected and while it is obvious that they cannot be granted "added years" of notional service on the ground of aiding recruitment, the Government decided that, having regard to the new conditions being offered to future recruits, some concession in their favour would be warranted. Accordingly, provision is also made in Section 6 to enable a serving professional officer who would have qualified for the grant of a period of notional service if he were appointed after the enactment of the Bill, to be granted one-half of that period. In other words, a serving professional officer who either holds or formerly held a position which, at any time before his retirement from established service is designated under the section as a professional position, may be granted, in general terms, a period of notional service equal to one-half of the experience he was required to have had in order to qualify for appointment. This concession is, of course, a gratuitous gift to serving professional officers and one which they cannot have expected on joining the Civil Service. Having regard to this and to the fact that provision for the granting of notional service to professional officers can be justified only as a recruitment incentive, the concession outlined must be considered a generous one.

The remainder of the Bill deals with questions about the reckoning of service and other miscellaneous matters. These are summarised in the Explanatory Memorandum which was circulated with the Bill so I do not propose to repeat that summary here. I would, however, like to say that when the Bill was being drafted, a comprehensive examination of hard cases which arose under the superannuation code was carried out and any which could be appropriately dealt with by legislation have been provided for in this Bill.

I recommend the Bill to the House for its approval.

In general, I think the principle and the purpose of this Bill commend themselves to both sides of the House. Any criticism that I have to offer on its contents will fall into criticism of its inadequacy, if anything, and the way that it is so limited in its scope. In what I hope will be taken as constructive criticism of the measure, I want to make it clear that I am speaking for a large and representative group of Civil Service organisations on whose behalf I have, in fact, already written to the Minister and suggested some recommendations which would make the Bill a great deal more acceptable to them. My comments on the Bill will, therefore, follow a very general line.

As I see it, the Bill purports to modify, amend and codify legislation which is embodied in a number of Acts governing Civil Service superannuation actually dating back to 1834. One can imagine the environment in which some of these Acts— at least some of them were enacted in 1834, 1859, 1887 and 1909—were thought up, the environment in which they were debated, and finally enacted. Some of them were and are still drafted in archaic terms and are scarcely comprehensible to up-to-date thinking on such problems as superannuation. Furthermore, some of these earlier Acts are very difficult to obtain; some of them are quite unprocurable.

It seems perfectly clear to me, therefore, that there can be very few people in the country who could claim to be familiar with all the Civil Service Superannuation Acts, or could speak with any authority on their multitudinous facets. Yet, this Bill now purports to modify and bring up-to-date legislation on Civil Service superannuation mainly by reference. I put it to the House, and I strongly suggest to the Minister, it is high time that an effort be made to revise completely this incomprehensible mass of legislation and write into one Act the up-to-date provisions for the Civil Service superannuation in language that would be comprehensible not only to the civil servants but to those of us in this and the other House who are not parliamentary draftsmen or authorities on ancient English.

It seems equally clear from all this that there has, in fact, been no real effort at revision or modernisation of the whole pattern of Civil Service superannuation ever since the State was founded over 40 years ago. I suggest it is high time, therefore, that the Department of Finance brought its policy and practice in this important sphere of national responsibility up-to-date.

The 1954 Act extended the provisions of the Superannuation Act, 1909, to women. It contained nothing so far as I can observe in the nature of concessionary benefits for civil servants generally. In 1956, the Allocation of Pensions Act, as it is called, enabled a male civil servant, subject to medical approval, for the first time on his retiral to surrender a portion of his pension in order to purchase an annuity for his widow on his death. Here again I am interested to note that the Minister himself admits that that Act cost the State nothing. The fact is that the State probably saves money in cases in which that type of option is exercised, since the State holds the funds and any deferment of payment must obviously be to the advantage of the State.

The Minister, in Volume 203, No. 8, Col. 1082 of the Dáil debates, appeared to give the impression that the Staff Side of the Civil Service accepted the Allocation of Pensions Act, 1956 in substitution for a proper widows' and orphans' pension provision. I am assured that this is not the case and I should like to make it clear that as far as I am aware the various organisations representing the various grades of civil servants covered by the Act accepted it as nothing more than a stop-gap and not as an alternative to the long-outstanding claim of every section of the Civil Service for an adequate and properly-defined widows' and orphans' pension scheme. That is an innovation on which I do submit clearly that the Government could and should give a clear and definite lead to all employers in this country. I say that that should be done without adding any substantial cost to the present expense of the administration of the Civil Service.

I have already endeavoured in this outline of the problem to show that there has been no real change in the general pattern or in the provisions generally in Civil Service superannuation ever since the State was founded and it may now be alleged that the defects in our treatment of civil servants could be attributed to the pattern of legislation which we took over from the British in 1922. But long since substantially modified and I am reliably assured—and I have checked on this—that the British have brought up to date the Acts which govern civil service superannuation in that country. As long ago as 1949, the Labour Government in Britain brought in a new and comprehensive Act which provides on a contributory basis for widows' and orphans' pensions and other ancillary benefits. In several other respects, too, the British Civil Service superannuation code has been overhauled and revised to provide reasonable retiral benefits for the employees of State services in that country.

I am told that about six years ago the staff side of our Civil Service requested a complete review and revision of the superannuation code here to include provision for "added years" as is now being provided for in this Bill in certain limited scope; earlier retirement at age 50 with deferred pension is in Britain; better provision for the unestablished and part-time civil servant; and for an adequate widows' and orphans' scheme. I understand that a joint committee sat and deliberated on this problem over a period of almost a full year but its findings and research were completely negatived at every phase and turn by the negative attitude of the Department of Finance, through their representatives on the committee, and claims of the staff were in turn rejected almostin toto by the Minister and his officials.

On the question of a contributory widows' and orphans' scheme, the staff were flatly and finally told, I understand, that the Minister would contribute nothing to it. I am informed that certain of the executive or higher grades have since inaugurated a voluntary orphans' scheme to which each participating member of the staff is required to pay the full contribution from his own resources without any corresponding contribution from the Minister. My information is that even in this instance the Minister and his officials have seen fit to discourage this effort at self-help and I am told that the Minister has now demanded a commission of two and a half per cent for his trouble in deducting at source once each year the annual contribution of the members. In effect, therefore, it seems clear that Civil Service organisations have for at least six or seven years been pleading and clamouring for the application to them of conditions which have applied in Britain since 1949. All their efforts and discussions of the problem and all their negotiations with Department officials as well as all the deliberations of these officials over that period of years seem to have produced no more than is provided for in the Bill before us today, in Section 2, the main section of the Bill. Together with that, there is the very limited provision made in other sections for "added years" applicable only to certain professional categories and without which, as the Minister knows quite well and as his officials should know, it would be quite impossible today to recruit any trained or qualified person to the Civil Service at all.

While I am referring to Section 2 of the Bill, I should like to pause to suggest that the phraseology still used in this and other sections of the Bill is surely outworn, antiquated and too reminiscent of the Victorian mentality and outlook on staff problems. I am referring to the use of phrases like "The Minister may if he thinks fit... grant such compassionate gratuity." The use of such phrases is far too reminiscent of the bad old days before 1913 and I suggest in this more enlightened day and age, it is time that here in Ireland, pledged as we are to the great principles of liberty and freedom to which we quite rightly paid such public tribute during the past week, we should stop thinking in such terms, using them and perpetuating their use in legislation which may remain on record for so many years to come. Such terms do not reflect the thinking, the outlook and the mentality of the 1960s.

I should like to turn to another aspect of the Bill and point out that in defence of their attitude to such problems as superannuation and remuneration generally, the Minister and his officials on every possible occasion virtuously claim that civil servants do not contribute to their pension benefits. That claim is very badly founded and in fact is not true. Every civil servant contributes, indirectly perhaps, but nevertheless contributes generously, to the provision of his or her pension. If a civil servant is seconded to an association or organisation representing any section of the service or to an outside undertaking or firm, the Minister invariably requires an addition of 15 per cent to the salary which is recouped by his Department in order to provide for pension.

I know of at least one case in which the man concerned was seconded for a number of years to one of the Civil Service associations. Throughout the whole period, the association was required to recoup the Minister for the gross amount of that man's salary and also this addition of 15 per cent for pension. Subsequently, the man concerned resigned quite voluntarily from his post with the association and did not go back to the Civil Service. I am reliably informed, however, that the association was not refunded either the whole or any part of the contribution of 15 per cent which they had paid over the years the man was in their service. Surely that makes it quite clear that the pension payable to a civil servant is provided in the rate of remuneration struck for him.

An important aspect—and this is a point I should like to stress—is that the Minister's attitude is to the effect that civil servants have no vested right to pension. That seems to be borne out by the fact that if a civil servant decides to retire before the normal retiral age, he gets no pension at all— any more than that man got or his association got. It seems a source of extra profit to the Department itself.

It is hardly necessary for me to remind the Minister that the current method of calculating Civil Service pay is by a comparison with the rates paid for comparable work in outside employments, after these rates are reduced by any pension contributions payable in such outside employments. At conciliation or arbitration proceedings, the Minister's representatives never fail to claim that such rates should be depreciated by ten or 15 per cent to allow for the notional value of so-called noncontributory pensions payable in the Civil Service.

It seems perfectly clear therefore that civil servants do contribute to pension benefits by having to be content with a lesser rate for the job than is generally paid in most outside categories of comparable employment. It would be much more honest and certainly fairer to civil servants if they were paid at the correct rate for the job and were required to contribute directly to their pensions benefit. I commend this suggestion to the Minister because from the point of view of the civil servant such an arrangement would give him a greater stake in the future and security of his employment while from the Minister's point of view it should promote greater confidence and contentment with the employment conditions offered by the State. The conditions I have tried to illustrate do indicate that a full and enlightened review of all these aspects of the civil service superannuation conditions in the light of modern thought and trends is an urgent and absolute necessity.

So far as I can ascertain—I do not claim to be any more than an ordinary layman in this respect—there is no specific or general provision in the Bill to adjust the position of serving personnel who have had previous service in what may now and hereafter be classed as an approved employment. The provisions are very limited and certainly do not apply generally and are not intended to apply. Is it not possible that existing State servants will be very much worse off in future than new entrants when the provisions of the Bill are applied to new entrants as apparently is intended? That position itself is going to create a lot of apprehension in the minds of existing personnel and more discontent in the ranks of the Civil Service generally. The fears of a number of persons who find themselves in that position are already expressed in the suggested amendments which I have already submitted to the Minister for his consideration as a result of very strong representations made to myself and other members of the House on the point. Surely the broad principle should be acceptable to the Minister and his officials that any person serving in an office remunerated out of the Exchequer who moves to another office likewise paid out of public funds should in all fairness be given credit for his total years of service to the State for pension purposes. He has earned the right to pension from the State and the State continues to employ him. Therefore the State has a moral obligation to grant him a pension for his total years' service and it should be given without distinction or discrimination. The Bill is very inefficient in that it does not do precisely that. To illustrate the injustice of the cases I have in mind I should like to quote the case of one section of staff employed in the Ordnance Survey office as it has been described to me. In one section one can enter only through the Army. In recent years I understand the Army has been recruiting for this section of the Ordnance Survey recruits whose only Army service is given in the Ordnance Survey office. A recruit must spend a number of years as a soldier working in the office doing exactly the same work as civilian employees before he too can become eligible for employment in the office as a civilian employee. If and when by diligent application to his work and by continuous satisfactory service he should eventually qualify for employment as a civilian employee he gets no pensionable credit for the years he has spent in the Ordnance Survey office as a soldier. Surely that is wrong. It is an injustice and even if it happens in only one case it is an injustice. I would appeal to the Minister to take the opportunity in the Bill of correcting such an anomaly wherever it occurs.

There has been much play made on the "added years" to be allowed certain categories of civil servants. It is undoubtedly desirable to correct some of the anomalies as the Bill sets out to do but because of the manner in which it is done and because of the selectivity written into the Bill and the limited discretion the Bill allows the Minister the Bill will give rise to discontent—first because serving personnel are being discriminated against and are not treated as well as future employees or even as well as existing employees who may be classed as professional civil servants. Professional civil servants are not the only category of civil servants who were recruited in the past in order to meet the varying needs of the Civil Service at a comparatively high recruitment age. Those who are discriminated against in this respect will suffer from a legitimate sense of grievance if they are not allowed full pension rights for their years of service to the State. It would seem to be far simpler, more expeditious and more just if the Minister in this or some early future Bill took power to vary as he thought fit and appropriate the rate of pension provisions as applied to the various grades as the needs of the service called for recruitment or transfer of special grades, professional or otherwise. The Minister should take to himself that right because it should be a right exercisable by anybody in the Minister's position. That is already done for the judiciary, I understand, for the Army and the Garda, and Section 28 of the Bill does give certain powers though they are too limited in scope and in fact selective and eventually discriminatory in effect.

Therefore while the Bill in principle is a fair one, in any review of the Bill it will have to be admitted that because of its selectivity and because it is discriminatory it will do very little to remove the anomalies it sets out to correct and will leave many civil servants with the thought and mentality that they are suffering a grievance. So long as that position remains it means that the grievance will have to be removed eventually by one means or another before we can say that justice has been done. The fact that only a minority are suffering should remind the Minister to have a further sympathetic look at the position. The need and future requirements of the service cannot be met by means of patchwork legislation of this kind and if the Minister cannot see his way to doing it in this Bill he should order a comprehensive review of superannuation as existing at the present time. The problem calls for a review and the State itself would benefit by a fair and impartial appraisal of this problem generally and I wish to recommend that particular course to the Minister.

This Bill is a welcome one even if it is not as comprehensive as one would wish. While this is a complicated measure the discussion of which should be more fruitful on the Committee Stage, there are nevertheless a few points which I should like to bring forward now, in particular a few points mentioned by my colleague Senator Crowley which I would wish to join in urging on the Minister.

The Minister said in the Dáil that the cost of the provisions in this Bill would be a matter of £34,000 per annum. When the Minister comes to the House he usually talks of sums of money far higher than £34,000. While the sum is small on this occasion it is one which will commend itself to every member of the House. Even if the Minister takes the view that what is done in this Bill is limited by what he can do in present financial circumstances, I think he might well think again on that particular point because to bring in after a lapse of years an amending Bill to deal with the superannuation code when the amount involved is £34,000 is a small thing when we remember that the Minister almost every week casts £34,000 in less worthy directions without a qualm. We do not expect the Minister, and I am sure he would not be willing, to act as a pacemaker in the question of superannuation or in the general question of staff relationships, but neither should the Minister be a complete laggard in this respect. The Minister has a definite duty to adapt himself to the changes that have occurred and are continuously occurring in regard to employment, not only in the private sector, but in the branches of the public sector outside the Civil Service.

This Bill which the Minister has brought to us is one that has a great many details in it and, I think, very few principles. I do not think this is an unfair comment since the Minister himself in Volume 203, No. 8, Column 1055 of the Dáil Debates says:

"This is a Bill that has been taken from a very long list of cases which should be considered for superannuation. There are only a few principles in it."

I think it is a matter for regret that when the Minister, after a long number of years, introduces a new Superannuation Bill, there are very few principles in it.

As Senator Crowley has already told the House, the Superannuation Code regarding the Civil Service dates from 1834. Some of the provisions of the 1834 Act are still extant and the whole Superannuation Code which is being amended in the present Bill is really a thing now of shreds and patches and what we have in this Bill are, by and large, a few more patches. Some of them are nice patches and quite brightly coloured and some of them are very necessary to cover rents and tears that have appeared in the garment. But it still leaves our whole Superannuation Code as this thing of shreds and patches that has grown up in 130 years. Indeed, mastery of this present Act requires specialised knowledge of a high order and of a somewhat esoteric nature. Even if the provisions of the present Superannuation Code were in complete harmony with modern needs there is an overwhelming case for the consolidation both of the Statutory Code and of the various regulations made under it. But of course the position is that the present provisions are in many respects completely and utterly out of date.

I join with Senator Crowley in what he has urged on the Minister and on the Seanad in this respect. For example, we are apparently willing to accept the position laid down under the Act of 1834, that a pension is not a matter of right but a matter of grace from the Minister for Finance. In other words, a pension for a civil servant is a sort of Department of Finance equivalent of a medal for long service and good conduct. I think this attitude is something which we should get rid of once and for all. The Minister is probably unwilling to go quite as far as to consider a Civil Service pension as being something merely in the nature of withholding pay which would be claimable as a right at any time, but I think the Minister could come a good deal of the way from the concept of 1834, that the Civil Service pension is something given as a grace to a faithful servant at the end of his days.

I think the Minister could come a very great distance away from that concept, and not be in any sense a pace-maker, and still be somewhat behind what are the realities and concepts in non-Civil Service employment today. The position at the moment in the public sector in this country outside the Civil Service is that the superannuation schemes are contributory and the employee has the right to recover his contributions. I agree with Senator Crowley that the only difference with regard to the Civil Service is that the Civil Service scheme is contributory but the employee has no right to recover his contributions.

There is a real need for a full-scale review of the fundamental Civil Service employment practices. They should be examined from time to time, both in regard to their equity and their efficiency because both their equity and their efficiency at any time must be considered in the light of what are the corresponding practices of outside employers both in the public and in the private sector.

While all of us agreed that it was a good thing that there was a discussion in the General Conciliation Council of the Civil Service concerning superannuation benefits, I think this was not enough. Such a discussion between the Staff Side and the Official Side in the sub-committee of the General Council has done something but it has not got down to fundamentals. Conciliation procedure which tends to bring to light and get agreement on anomalies which have occurred in the past, can however, do very little to reform the Civil Service Superannuation Code in the light of the present or in any sense in the light of the future. This procedure of conciliation dialectics between the two sides is definitely not the best means of undertaking a fundamental review.

As regards the new provisions in the present Bill, these are largely a matter for discussion on Committee Stage, but there are a few points which I should like to raise now. Firstly, in regard to the transfer of service, there is already provision, I understand, under the Superannuation Code for secondment of officers and also for the freezing of pensions rights on transfer to approved employment, whereas the present Bill allows for the transfer of actual services. As drafted in the Bill, this sounds an excellent new departure but I wish the Minister would tell us some more about how it is to work out in practice. In other words, I wish the Minister would assure us that this provision in regard to transfer of services is not a silver cloud that would turn out to have a leaden lining—that it is not a provision that looks well in the Bill but which, when it comes to a matter of making regulations and deciding cases, would turn out to be little more than an alternative procedure for dealing with cases which could already be dealt with under the existing Code.

In this respect I am rather worried about the tendency of thinking which is revealed by a remark which the Minister made in the Dáil during the passage of the Bill on a Second Stage reply. In Volume 202, No. 11, of 15th May, 1963, Column 1628, the Minister gives us his general thinking on this subject. I quote:

"We must not look at this at all as being for the benefit of the person concerned. He might better his position by going from one position to another. If he does, that is at his own volition."

And again in Column 1629 he says:

"The idea is that quite obviously in many cases in the past a person would be a great asset to, let us say, one of the State companies, but if he left the Civil Service as things stood, he would lose his pension rights, and he would not go. In many cases, people were seconded, which was a way of getting around the difficulty. We think it is better to do it in this way."

Now, if this provision is to be a mere alternative to secondment, if it is merely to be slightly neater administrative procedure to deal with cases that could have been dealt with by secondment, then I think there is very little of a new departure in this particular respect.

There are two elements involved when a person transfers from one part of the public sector to another. There is the question of the individual good and there is also the question of the public interest involved. Now, there were some thinkers in the 19th century who thought that individual good, individual self-interest, and the public good always and automatically coincided, that all we needed to have was enough enlightened self-interest and we would promote the public good. For many years the Government in action, and in some cases Government action, based on such ideas, lead to much injustice.

We all now realise it is wrong to identify in every case and always self-interest and the public interest but I submit it may be equally wrong to consider private interest and public interest as always mutually exclusive. I think the Minister in what he said in his reply on Second Stage in the Dáil and in his approach to the execution of these particular provisions, may tend to make that particular mistake. I think there is a grave danger here unless it is realised that there would be many cases in which self-interest, and public interest would both and at the same time be served by a particular transfer. I think it would be tragic if all that was needed in order that a transfer of pensionable service would be refused was the detection of self-interest in order to rule out this case as one to which the section should not be applied. I think, indeed, the public interest might suffer greatly in consequence and so I hope that we in our turn in the 20th century do not give rise to cases of individual injustice based on Government inaction because the belief is there that self-interest and public interest can never coincide.

This is recommended as a new departure. The Minister has told us in introducing the Bill that this is something we should do and it is a new departure for Ireland. But, of course, it is not a new departure in other countries and it is now a very, very old departure as far as Britain is concerned. While the Minister is perfectly entitled to say that what is done in Britain is not a compelling reason that we should follow suit, nevertheless, we must realise that our Civil Service is modelled on the British Civil Service. We must realise that though Britain has differences of scale, though she has a difference in regard to the stage of the development of her economy, nevertheless, in regard to the organisation of the Civil Service there are more similarities between the Civil Service of Ireland and the Civil Service of Britain than there are differences. Since the 1948 Act in Britain there has been a complete transfer within the public sector and, indeed, for almost 10 years now in Britain, there has been discussion as to whether this should not be extended to exchanges between many parts of the private sector and many parts of the Civil Service.

In regard to this question of transfer of service, the Minister has laid down three elements as being necessary for such a transfer to take place and I should like specifically to question him on one of these. The first element is that it should take place with no break of service. I should like to ask the Minister whether the meaning of this term, which is quoted in Section 4 of the Bill, has been determined—the meaning of the term "without break of service." The Priestley Commission, on the British Civil Service, gave as its opinion that the effect of transfers within the public sector under the 1948 Act was to render largely meaningless the definition of continuity of service which up to that time had been used in the British Civil Service. I should be glad if the Minister could assure me that there is no danger that the transfers which would take place under this particular section could ever be determined by a court to have involved a break of service within the meaning of the main Acts of the superannuation code.

The second element which is concerned in this transfer is that it must be between approved organisations and here again I should like to ask the Minister if he could be more specific in regard to these approved organisations. He has, of course, indicated that this should include the Civil Service, all the State bodies, the local authority services, and possibly, the universities. I would ask the Minister would he not consider even at this stage introducing a basic list in a Schedule to the Bill which would be a guiding light in regard to what we could expect as regards these approved organisations? It is easy to say all State bodies are included but if you come down to the question of what are State bodies, it is only when we come to make a list of State bodies, decide which of them are really State bodies for the purpose of this Bill, we find perhaps they would not be State bodies for the purpose of another Bill. I think there would be real difficulty here and I wonder if the Minister would help us. I think he could help most of all by including this list in a Schedule to the Bill, or if he is not prepared to go that far, if he would at some stage during the passage of this Bill give a list of the bodies or an indication where the line is to be drawn. Surely the Minister knows better than anybody else that there is hardly a body in this country that does not benefit financially from the Department of Finance at the present moment and that in some way or other does not come within some listing of State supported bodies.

I should like specifically to ask the Minister the position in regard to the universities. He has continually said: "Perhaps the universities", or "possibly the universities". I know that this position may be difficult because he may not have had consultations with the universities on this particular point, but I would ask him if he would be able to deal with the question.

The third element in regard to transfer is that the transfer must be with the consent of both organisations involved. Again, I am a little bit worried as to how this would turn out in practice. I am a little bit worried that this would be too restrictive: even if the Minister lays down that the principle should be that if it is in the public interest then the transfer would take place. This is a sound principle but how would it work in practice? Would it not be fatally easy for somebody in a Civil Service Department or in a public organisation to confuse the public interest and Departmental convenience? Would it not be extremely easy for somebody to say it is not in the public interest that this man be transferred from one particular job to another when it is not really the public interest at all but Departmental convenience that is involved? It might be very awkward to lose this particular man but it might be in the public interest. I think we are all very good at rationalising such situations and I should like to ask the Minister what safeguards there will be that these decisions might not be made under misapprehensions of this particular sort. I think there would be scope for a possible injustice in the application of the Bill in this particular point.

There is another thing I should like to ask the Minister on this particular point. If an employee wishes to transfer from one organisation to another, and wishes to transfer his service, and is refused, has he any right of appeal? I shall be more specific. Would an employee of the Electricity Supply Board who wished to transfer from the Electricity Supply Board to another authority, which has been designated by the Minister as an approved authority, be able to appeal to the general employees tribunal of the ESB against the Board's refusal to release him? I would ask the Minister if he could give an answer on that particular point?

The next general departure in the Bill is the introduction of certain provisions for redundancy. Again, this is a matter which we can go into on Committee Stage but there are a few remarks I should like to make during this Stage. Redundancy is a vital problem for all sectors of our economy and the Government should certainly set a good headline which other employers can follow. In saying this, I do not merely refer to a financial headline. I want to emphasise that the Government should be a leader in recognising redundancy as a personal problem for the individual employee and also in recognising the occurrence of redundancy as an awkward organisation problem.

Again, I am rather worried about the Minister's attitude to this particular point. On Committee Stage in the Dáil at column 1071, Vol. 203, No. 8 of the Official Report the Minister, when replying to an appeal for greater generosity in regard to those who are becoming redundant, said: "If we were to go further than that it would not pay. It would be better to keep them there doing nothing."

That is a deplorable attitude to redundancy. I think this counting house attitude to redundancy, that, perhaps, it might be better just to keep people there doing nothing, will do no good to the Civil Service. If our industrialists are to adopt that attitude, the work of the CIO committees will be in vain.

Redundancy has got to be tackled not only as an accounting problem but also as a problem which affects the individual. Further, it has got to be tackled as a problem which affects organisation. If you keep redundant people working because you think it would cost you more money to get rid of them, you will pay ten times over for such folly. If you keep people hanging round the place doing little or nothing you will have real trouble in the future. The Minister should adopt a more fundamental, more imaginative and more personal attitude to this problem of redundancy because other employers have a right to look to him for a headline on that particular point.

Another departure in the Bill is the question of notional service for professional officers. This, of course, is something which is not really a new departure at all. It is something that existed for professional officers in the Civil Service for the whole latter half of the 19th century and was only abolished when the professional officers were given such substantially higher salaries that it was considered it was no longer necessary.

I do not know what the position is in regard to professional officers generally. I can speak in regard to the professional employment of engineers, having worked as an engineer in the Civil Service and being responsible also for advising engineers in regard to employment. While this new provision may do something to help them in regard to the problem of recruitment, recruitment of engineers to the public service will only be improved by better conditions and when I say "better conditions" I mean not only monetary conditions but also full professional conditions. Unless the Minister is going to give adequate scope for professional development to engineers throughout the public service, he is not going to recruit engineers and nobody who occupies the position I do is going to encourage engineers to seek service within the Civil Service.

The Minister in moving this Stage of the Bill refers to unestablished service. The Minister indicated the position is that an opportunity has been given to many people to become established but one of the conditions is that the job which he is in is a job which is, as far as can be foreseen at the moment, permanent in nature. This is excellent in its way but it makes absolutely no provision for a job which may actually be permanent in nature but cannot be seen to be permanent at this particular moment.

I should like to be specific about some of the instances that occur. Many jobs are temporary only in name. I should like to cite an example from my own profession. The engineers who worked in the arterial branch of the Office of Public Works were maintained as temporary engineers until the passing of the 1945 Arterial Drainage Act. Up to the passing of that Act drainage could only be initiated by the local landowners. There was the possibility that nobody in Ireland would ever be clamouring for a drainage scheme. People might not look for arterial drainage and these people could not be given permanent positions. Everyone clamoured for arterial drainage. They are still doing so. There are many men still serving with many years of unestablished service in what was—and everybody knew it—a completely permanent job.

I agree there are cases in which unestablished service cannot be counted. There are cases when the job is manifestly beyond any doubt temporary. There are also cases where people have not passed the particular qualifying examination. I do not think any plea will be made in this House for people who have not passed their examinations or are purely working in temporary jobs, but in regard to the people who have at an early stage in their careers passed the appropriate qualifying examinations and whose jobs by the time they retire prove to have been permanent jobs, not seen from the beginning to be permanent but seen so to be in retrospect, something should be done.

We have the position that the British Civil Service, of which we were once a part, have gone far beyond what we are prepared to do. All unestablished service from 1949 on in Britain counts automatically as full service. The discussion there has been on the basis that it is only a matter of finance, a matter of how much they can afford. On that particular point, could the Minister not afford a little more? Could he not take a few categories? Could he not look at people who could be seen in retrospect to have been permanent even though they could not be seen in advance to have been permanent in fact? Could he not take a particular date and from that date on have unestablished service count as established service?

In summary, I should like to say to the Minister that what has been done in this Bill is welcome. Perhaps, the Minister would see fit to review the whole system of Civil Service superannuation in a broad fashion from a broader point of view. We are in a new situation. We are moving into a new situation in which the Civil Service will be as vitally important as any of the other instruments on which we are going to depend. New principles of staff relationship within the Civil Service are necessary for this new situation.

I would express the hope that the provisions in regard to the transfer of service and added years are not illusory—that they really mean something—and that transfer of service and added years will operate only in very exceptional cases.

With regard to the redundancy requirements, I would ask the Minister to adopt less of a counting house attitude in regard to this whole problem of superannuation in the public sector. I think we are very rapidly approaching the time when we could do with one single contributory scheme for the whole of the public sector. The whole question of transfer would be unnecessary. It should be possible to devise an over-all scheme to cover statutory bodies and the whole of the Civil Service. If the Minister had gone in that direction we would have a simpler Bill and we would have achieved even more than could be achieved under the present Bill.

I am in substantial agreement with the previous speakers especially in expressing the hope that at some future date the Minister will see fit to reform and consolidate the legislation on these matters within the scope of one statute. An example has been set for the Minister in this regard by the Department of Justice. That Department have undertaken a very ambitious programme of law reform and consolidation. It is an example which could be followed by the Minister and by many other Departments in regard to measures scattered here and there in different statutes. I hope that the Minister will bend his energies towards carrying out reform and consolidation.

The Bill, as it stands, is largely a Committee Stage Bill. We could profitably spend quite a bit of time in Committee on the measure. I do not wish to say very much on this Stage. I like the provision in regard to notional service. It is given as an inducement to get professional people to enter the Civil Service. I do not think it should merely be presented as an inducement. It is simply plain justice. Just as a civil servant, having served his apprenticeship as a clerical officer and subsequently as an executive officer, might be regarded as training himself for a post as administrative officer so also the young man who takes another course of training and goes to a professional school is in a very real sense training himself for his future position. Consequently, he is just as much entitled to have those years counted as is the senior civil servant who spent a number of years in junior positions.

When this has been applied, I hope we will not have the counting house mentality referred to by the previous speaker—that for any post it will be decided that the minimum required for it will be so many years of postgraduate or graduate training, say, three years minimum. Therefore, nobody will get more than three years of these notional years added. I would appeal to the Minister to be particularly liberal in that regard.

As the Minister said, the present Bill entails only an additional expenditure of £34,000. If the provisions of the Bill are applied in a narrow pin-pricking manner, it will lead to a dissatisfied staff. We should act generously with the young man with more experience and his reactions will redound to the benefit of the service and the State.

I find one item in this which is very annoying. While we are prepared to give the allowance to future entrants, only half will be given to those who were in before this Bill was introduced. I think that is niggardly in the extreme because these are professional people who have actually gone into the State service, and perhaps made a sacrifice to go in, when their colleagues went elsewhere. I hope to put down an amendment which will remove that. I think the Minister should deal with this in a forthright manner and give them whatever allowance by way of additional years to which they would be entitled if the present Act had been in force when they came in. All that goes to worsen public relations. All that pin-pricking is by far the most deadly, and paradoxically it is what saves least, even in finance, and I doubt if this will save the addition which will have to be spent on drafting the legislation. In any case, it is bound to disappoint all those who are in the service already. The Minister and the Government might look at that. They have got these people into the Civil Service, but can they keep them there? I suggest it is as much a problem to hold these professional people where they are as that of inducing new entrants to come in. Consequently, be generous and give to those who are there what they would have got had they been under the new legislation.

Reciprocity here does not seem to go far enough between the State and the various public sectors. In a community of three million people we should be able to expand that reciprocity to include all sectors. In dealing with professional people, Professor Dooge has made a great plea for giving them full professional status within the Civil Service. I suggest nothing is more conducive to status or morale than freedom of movement—so that professional people can move in and out of the Civil Service into local authorities, into private employment, and all the rest, and still carry their pension rights with them. In other words, do not put unnecessary obstacles into freedom of movement because, by and large, in dealing with professional people you gain by giving them the opportunities of testifying their experience.

I think, unfortunately, we can criticise our Civil Service administration here in its dealing with professional people. There is too much of the mentality by those in charge, largely the administrator who has not been sullied by having been subject to a professional training, to try at all times in dealing with professional people to keep them in their place. I suggest that that attitude is almost as dead as the Superannuation Acts of 1831, which have been quoted here. In the modern world it just does not make sense, where so much technology and science are required; it is a team process, and if the State is to prosper on that it must ensure that the openings available to the professional people working for it are at least as good as those available to the administrators working for it. They should ensure that—going back to the age of 16 or 17, the Leaving Certificate stage —the young lad of comparable ability who decided to enter the Civil Service can go up along the administration ladder. Compare him with the lad who decided to go to the University, take degrees and later winds up as a professional civil servant. It should be the aim of the Government to ensure that there is no financial bias one way or the other. If there is a bias, it should be in favour of the professional person who has taken the greater gamble. Of course, today the bias is totally in favour of the administrator.

I do not say this as criticism of administrators. I want to say it because it is fundamental in the development of a modern State and unless we face up to that fundamental and see that professional people are given their rightful place in the service of the nation, and given the facilities to service the nation without being pinpricked or hamstrung in any way, I do not see that we can hold our place and compete with professional people against the power of such mighty sectors as is in Great Britain and the United States.

Another serious trouble here is the treatment of reciprocity with the Army. I do not think adequate inducements are being given to army officers to change, coming near the end of their period of service, and become leaders in our industrial life. Many of those if they go to work for the State do so at a big disadvantage compared with working for a private group or with leaving the country altogether. They can draw their pensions if they work for a non-State body, but if they work for the State the counting house mentality comes in again and the pension is abated by reference to what they are paid from the State funds.

I think that is altogether unfair discrimination against further State employment by retiring army officers and I think it is something the Minister might well investigate. In fact, I think he should go further in that regard and see in the pool of army men ideal captains for our industrial life, and should give every facility and opportunity to them both in training for the adjustment to civilian life and in encouraging them to leave before reaching the retiring age in the Army.

In this question of reciprocity there is none so erring as the body with whom I am associated in the universities, seeing that we cannot even take pension rights around the three parts of one federal university. I hope that is something that will be put right in the present Commission. In any case, I have made an appeal. I shall close on this note—that the maximum good of the nation will be served by allowing the maximum free movement of personnel within our various groups. It is only fair that we get the cross-fertilisation between the private enterprise outlook, the State outlook and the academic outlook, all three of which must go together to the development of this country as a modern State, and to its development as the modern State which President Kennedy charted for us last week.

Pádraig Ó Siochfradha

Tá cuid mhaith tuairimí cloiste ag an Aire anois ar an mBille seo agus comhairlí agus iarrataisí. Ag gabháil don scéal, do luíodh go mór ar fad, beagnach ar fad, ar an Státseirbhís agus glachadh daoine isteach ann ó sheirbhísí eile agus creidiúint a bheith le tabhairt dóibh nó gan é bheith le tabhairt dóibh insa Státseirbhís i gcúrsaí pinsean.

Tá pointe amháin gur mhaith liomsa luí air agus ní thagróidh mé d'aon ní eile—daoine ag dul go dtí seirbhís chomhairlí contae agus seirbhís chomhairlí bailte nó cathrach. In aimsear na práinne chuaigh a lán fear óg isteach san Arm. Do hiarradh ar a leithéidí dul ann agus do chuadar ann agus chaitheadar blianta fada nó gairide ann agus bhíodar i gcéim oifigeach ins an Arm sin. Anois, tá cuid acu i seirbhísí chomhairlí contae agus chomhairlí cathrach agus do réir mar a thuigimse níl creidiúint le fáil acu i gcúrsaí pinsean maidir leis an seirbhís a chaitheadar san Arm. Tá moladh ann do ghná-sheirbhísí, sé sin, lucht oibre agus mar sin, mar bhíodar san Arm ach is dóigh liom go bhfuil cosc i gcúrsaí oifigeach. Ba mhaith liom a chur i láthair an Aire go ndéanfadh sé ath-mhachtnamh ar an scéal sin agus an cheist a léiriú dhúinn mar ní ró-chruinn a thuigimíd ón mBille seo conas mar atá an scéal. Tá an tuiscint ann go bhfuil iaroifigí Airm i seirbhísí chomhairlí contae agus comhairlí cathrach agus nuair a thiocfaidh lá an phinsin ní áireofar na blianta agus ní bhfaighidh siad aon chreidiúint ar son na mbliana a chaitheadar i seirbhís an Stáit san Arm. Ba mhaith liom an scéal sin a chur i láthair an Aire agus go ndéanfadh sé ath-mhachtnamh air. Ní abróidh mé a thuille mar tá an chuid eile léirithe go maith.

I just want to make a short reference to the part of the Bill, Section 28, which deals with the Industrial Development Authority and to ask if anything has been done by the Minister in regard to the case which was raised in the Dáil, referred to in Vol. 203, No. 8, column 1085 of the Official Report. It concerns one of the original members of the Industrial Development Authority who rendered outstanding service on the Authority for over 10 years, perhaps, indeed, over 12 years, but was struck down with an illness which caused his death, an illness which required for quite a long time very, very expensive treatment. I rather gathered from the discussion in the Dáil that the Minister had promised to look into it. At least, in reply to it, he said he would consider that anyway. I was wondering if the Minister had made any inquiries and if there was any hope that the next-of-kin in that case would benefit under the provisions of this Bill.

I think that most of the Senators followed the line set by Senator Crowley when he started off by stating that any criticism he would make on this Bill was inadequate. That is fair criticism enough. We have to cut our coat according to our cloth. There are, indeed, a lot of old Acts, as Senator Crowley pointed out and I accept his word that they are hard to get sometimes. But I do not think we have to go back very far for very many of the questions that arise although I believe that sometimes we have to rely on something which was done 130 years ago.

The new Acts have covered most of the things since that. It may be true to say that the 1956 Act did not cost the State anything but I want to say this. I was looking at some of the Estimates. In the past five years the pensions bill for the Civil Service has gone up 50 per cent. It was slightly under £1 million in 1958-59 and it was slightly under £1½ million this year, so it is a very big increase. The reason was because the new principle was brought in. We were criticised for not bringing in principles. A very important new principle was brought in since the war and that was to raise the statutory pension of existing pensioners to compensate them, first of all, for the cost of living and, secondly, to compensate them for the very big lag behind pensioners of their own grade and so on retiring at the present time.

The phraseology, of course, I am afraid has to be more or less in line with the old Acts until we bring in a Consolidation Act. I do not know when that will be done. Then, perhaps, we could change the phraseology. I do not think we can make some of the things quoted by Senator Crowley any more modern. For instance, he said the Minister "may". I do not think we could make that any more modern by any phraseology. In any of these Acts the Minister may do something and may not do it in others. In the main, of course, the Minister may use a certain amount of discretion as to whether he wants to do something or not. I am told "shall" sometimes gives discretion also but I do not know whether it does or not.

It is, of course, said that Civil Service officers contribute to their pensions. It is not indicated on the pay packet. At the same time, as Senator Crowley pointed out, if a civil servant is seconded to another employer, the Minister for Finance usually claims from him a certain amount of money to cover his pension while he is away. That does not prove that the civil servant contributes to his pension. It only proves that the Minister for Finance does not want to lose anything on the transaction, which is a different matter. Also, it was claimed by Senator Crowley that the civil servant who retires before his time gets no pension. Well, I think that applies to a certain extent, maybe not in exactly the same terms, to all pension schemes. A civil servant, as you know, has a right to retire at 60. He may retire at 60 if he likes; he must retire at 65. It may be—I am not sure—that in other pension schemes they give some more latitude than that but I think that is the only difference there would be. I think it would be impossible to have a pension scheme where a person could walk out any time he liked and draw his pension. There would have to be some qualification on that issue.

Again, we come to a point where a person moves from one approved employment to another. If he moves, let us say in the example given, from the Civil Service to the ESB, I do not know how that can work satisfactorily unless both parties agree, because, as I pointed out in my Second Reading speech, there might be rather attractive conditions in one place or another, maybe temporarily, and perhaps in some particular grade, which might draw a number from one of the approved organisations and leave them in a very bad way, indeed, to carry on their business. So that on the whole I think these transfers cannot be allowed to rank for superannuation unless it is in the public interest that they should take place. I do not think you could possibly put into this Bill that if a person transfers from one approved organisation to another he carries his pension rights with him. You might have a movement from one organisation to another leaving the second organisation in a very bad way for staff and that could not be tolerated.

One particular instance was raised by Senator Crowley, namely, the Ordnance Survey. I examined that when I was bringing in the Bill but it is really a matter for the Minister for Defence and I can say that he will deal with it and see that the pension rights are fixed up. That being so, then everything can easily follow on from that.

The big principles in the superannuation code are fairly well covered. The first is that a person gets a pension based on his service and his retiring salary. From time to time we try to improve the terms but the principles remain the same. As Senators are aware, civil servants recruited in the ordinary traditional way through a Selection Board are entitled to a pension. The wording of the old Act may be "at the pleasure of the Minister" but, of course, we all know that these words do not count for anything and he is entitled to a pension. Up to some years ago he was entitled to one-sixtieth of his retiring salary for each year of service. That, as far as I know, applies to pension schemes usually both in private and State employment, and it means that after 40 years' service, which is supposed to be the span, he will retire with a two-thirds pension. Some years ago the civil servants discussed this matter with the Minister for Finance at the time and an alternative was given of one-eightieth for each year with a retiring allowance. Civil servants generally were in favour of that so that we may take it that the present scheme is satisfactory as far as the civil servants are concerned.

I do not entirely agree with Senator Professor Dooge about putting into the Act what the approved employments are. I do not want to be tied to any particular list. I gave some of the approved employments which I feel sure would be included like the State companies and perhaps the universities—though I had some diffidence about the universities until we have discussed the matter. Local authorities would, of course, be included. No other organisations occur to me at the moment but it will be possible to include any other desirable organisations that might be put up.

Senator Dooge went on to lay down the conditions, as it were, for approval. There must be no break in service. The idea there is that he does not leave the Civil Service for four or five years, find that he had made a mistake and try to come back by the back door. His pension is gone as far as the Civil Service is concerned, and if he subsequently gets employment it will only be as a temporary civil servant with no pension rights. We do not want him to get in through the back door by going, say, into the ESB and then claiming Civil Service rights, because there was a break in employment.

Would it be possible to cover a case where due to rearrangement and transfer there was a possible break of service of two or three days? Could the Minister draft a section to cover an accidental break in service of that kind?

I do not know what cases the Senator could have in mind. It must be remembered that the two people must agree. Therefore, when the negotiation goes on the man will be in his existing job and they will agree that he will resign and go into the other.

Supposing the person was given a fortnight's leave and it was subsequently discovered that he was only entitled to ten days' leave, then his service would be broken.

There is not going to be any difficulty. Supposing he was a civil servant and everything was arranged and he went on a fortnight's leave, he would still be in employment as a civil servant. Of course, a few days could always be arranged by special leave if it is necessary.

The next point is that it must have the consent of both organisations. I do not think it would be possible to depart from that. After all, if the person he is with opposes his transfer that ends it. I have seen that happen on more than one occasion, when the employer at the moment required him more than the organisation looking for him, and we will have to leave it at that. If one is opposed, then the transfer cannot take place.

I am going on to speak about redundancy. Senator Dooge was rather dissatisfied with something I said in the Dáil, that it would not pay us if we gave them more. No employer, either the Minister or anybody else, will declare a person redundant except for economic reasons—he wants to save more money. Surely he would not declare a person redundant if it would cost him more to do so—he would find something for him to do. It is not realistic to discuss the matter on any other basis than that the person employing the officers concerned considers them redundant because he could do without them and could save money by getting rid of them. It was on that basis that we approached that problem. It must be remembered too that up to this the Minister had power to say that a man had become redundant and out the officer goes on the pension he would get if he were going out because of sickness, in other words on the number of years he had served. It occurred under me on one occasion that jobs became absolutely redundant and two men went. There was no way of getting over it. The Minister had power to say they were redundant and that was that. We are, therefore, making the conditions very much better for officers. The Minister might declare a man redundant but he will get ten years.

As it happens, there are cases of redundancy in the Civil Service at the moment. Due to reorganisation in the Department of Social Welfare, a very large number of officers have been declared redundant and their jobs are to be closed down after some little time. The terms offered under the Bill are evidently satisfactory because a number of these officers have accepted them and are prepared to go. A number said it would be as well to go and they are going under these terms. They were not forced to go because as this Bill was coming in it was thought that it would be unfair to force them out until the terms were ready to offer them. It was made plain to them that if they did not like the terms they would not be forced to go but they themselves are evidently satisfied with the terms and they are going.

The second case is where men are recruited to the Civil Service and must have a certain number of years' experience. Usually, they are professional men, doctors and, I think, veterinary surgeons. I am not sure about engineers. I am not sure if they must have experience before coming in but in some cases men coming in must have a certain amount of experience. It was always a very sore point with these men that they could not possibly earn the full pension. I was Minister for Health at one time and medical men spoke to me about it. They told me what their ages were when they came in and said that they could not get full pension. I wanted something done but these things take a long time to mature and it is only being done now. It seems a fair provision. If a medical man has to have seven years' experience, seven years will be added to his service. If a medical man qualifies at the age of 24, which is the normal age, then these seven years will make it possible for him to have his full pension at 65. That is what we are aiming at. The same applies to other professional men who had to have experience before getting the position.

Senator Quinlan called for a variation on that in order to give more added years to a person with a higher degree. That would be extremely complicated, I think.

It is done in America. It is done in all American establishments.

I am afraid it would be complicated but usually in these positions—I would say sometimes, not usually—a man with a higher degree is allowed to come at a higher point of the scale. He gets that advantage at least and it is a very good advantage because from the beginning to the end the man is on a higher scale than those who came in with him, at least until the end when they reach the top of the scale. It is a great advantage to come in two or three increments up and hold that lead all the way through.

Another point was made regarding serving professional groups. It was put to me by the Minister concerned—the Minister for Health in particular, the Ministers for Agriculture and Local Government to some extent—that it would be rather unfair if, say, a medical man comes in next year under the Bill and sits side by side with a man who came this year with the advantage of six years' pension over him. I said yes, that appears to be unfair. We decided on a compromise and are giving the existing men half the terms the other men would get.

With regard to establishing generally I spoke at some length in the Dáil. I said I was favourably disposed to establishment. Civil Service organisations can initiate this matter. If they feel that people are working who fulfil all the conditions—they came through a confined examination or an open one; their work appears to give every prospect of permanency; it is not a temporary position—and if they qualify for superannuation, that is, by being below a certain age—all these things being fulfilled, after discussion we have from time to time agreed to enlarge the establishment by bringing them into an established position. I think we are going as far as possible in that direction where the prospects of these positions are permanent and I think we can make some progress under present conditions in that way. The practice of allowing half the unestablished service for pension purposes to a man who becomes established is not long in operation. It was first done in 1951 and it would be a bit soon to alter that condition at the moment. I am quite sure that it will be altered in time but all these things take time.

Generally speaking, I was urged to be more generous but I should like to remind the Seanad that the Minister has only a certain amount of money to spend on all services and he must do the best he can. I hope those persons will be generous in giving it to me.

Double the turnover tax.

Senator An Seabhac spoke of transfers of civil servants to local government or of Army personnel to the local service. There again, of course, carrying their pension is more a matter for the Minister for Defence to deal with in the first instance because Army pensions are under him, but if his legislation were made more in line with this that would cover some of the points raised. It would certainly cover the question of the Ordnance Survey and it might cover the points raised by Senator An Seabhac too.

Senator Miss Davidson raised the question of a member of the Industrial Authority who died without pension. He did get a gratuity. I promised in the Dáil that I would look into that. He did get a gratuity, however, and I doubt whether any more can be done but I have not the final report yet.

On a question of clarification, the Minister mentioned in his Second Stage speech that where a person was going from the Civil Service the contribution from the Exchequer was as if his pension were deferred.

I am glad that the Senator raised that point. Senator Dooge asked me if there were an improvement in the position at all. If a person goes to approved employment, say the ESB, after 20 years in the Civil Service his pension is frozen as it were. He gets 20 years at that transfer pay, say he was getting £1,000 a year; then he does 20 years at £2,000 a year and that is his retiring pension. Now the position will be that he will go at £1,000. That is what the Civil Service will consider his pension at the end, but the ESB will give him the 40 years' service and he will be much better off.

Do I understand in this case the Exchequer would pay as if it were being frozen and that the difference between the salary of transfer and the final salary would have to be made to the Civil Service Commissioners by the receiving authority?

Up to this I understand they would pay his pension as if he had retired at that particular time; but now he goes over and he has a much higher salary at the time he retires and the Civil Service will pay as if he left at the retiring salary.

I thank the Minister; that was not clear from the statement.

Question put and agreed to.
Committee Stage ordered for Wednesday, 10th July, 1963.