HC Deb 24 April 1882 vol 268 cc1260-1

asked the Financial Secretary to the Treasury, If it be the fact that, in reorganizing the Customs Service, the Indoor Warehousing Department is being abolished or greatly reduced, and the servants are offered only the ordinary terms of retirement, or the acceptance of outdoor service, involving longer hours, nightwork, and exposure in duties not strictly analogous to their former employment; and, if it be the fact that, when similar changes were made in the Admiralty and War Office, an Act was passed (.41 and 42 Vic. c. 53) giving gratuities to those who were thus retired, and why the Customs servants are to be less liberally dealt with?


I cannot admit that the alternative offered to the displaced warehousing clerks is accurately described in the Question of my hon. Friend. The new service will practically be not very unlike that to which they have been accustomed; and so far as the hours are different, they will be compensated by some increase of pay. Failing the acceptance of this alternative, they will receive pensions at the special rate allowed under the 7th section of the Superannuation Act, in case of abolition of office. I cannot but think that much groundless alarm has been excited by too literal interpretation of the technical term "outdoor." As regards the suggestion in the latter part of the Question, I have to observe that the very peculiar circumstances which were held to warrant the exceptional terms given in the War Office and Admiralty, under a special Act, do not exist in the present case.