13 AUGUST 1887, Page 3

The Report of the Committee on Perpetual Pensions obtained by

Mr. Bradlangh recommends that no more such pensions be granted, and that all sinecure offices to which salaries are attached, and all existing pensions, shall be determined. In com- muting the pensions, the Treasury are to consider the circum- stances under which each pension was granted, and whether or not any real service was rendered by the original grantee. Where no service, or only nominal service, is rendered by the holder of a hereditary office, and where no service, or only nominal ser- vice, was rendered by the original grantee of a pension, the salary or pension shall in no case continue beyond the life of the present holder. In all cases, commutation is to effeet a real saving to the nation. The rate of twenty-seven years' purchase lately adopted by the Treasury is condemned as too high. With most of these recommendations we are heartily in sympathy. That, however, which directs treatment according to the deserts of the first grantee is clearly wrong. When a perpetual pen- Edon has been granted by competent authority, an actual property has been created, and to take this away without proper compensation is simple confiscation. We do not refuse to pay the interest on the National Debt because many of the early loans were scandalously jobbed. The question of the hereditary sinecure offices is perhaps somewhat different, since the interest of the holder was not assignable, and so, in the ordinary sense of the term, cannot be regarded as property.