§ MR. HEALY
asked the Secretary to the Treasury, Whether there are at present sixty-five Excise collections in England, thirteen in Ireland, and thirteen in Scotland; whether it is true, as stated in The Civilian of 16th February, that Bandon and Kilkenny collections are to be broken up, thus reducing the number in Ireland from thirteen to eleven; whether a small increase has been recently made to the salaries of a class of Excise officers known as "Division" officers; whether the Treasury sanctioned this on condition that the Board of Excise effected such a saving in their department as would meet this increased expenditure; whether the breaking up of these Irish collections is for the purpose of saving, to meet this increase to the salaries of officers, the great majority of whom are employed in England; and, whether any similar reduction is proposed for Scotland?
§ MR. COURTNEY
Sir, the numbers of Excise collections in the Three Kingdoms are correctly stated in the Question to be 65 in England, and 13 each in Scotland and Ireland. It has been found possible recently to reduce the numbers in Ireland by one—not two, as stated—and it is hoped shortly to reduce one in England; but the Board do not see their way to any reduction in Scotland at present. These reductions 1018 are made upon consideration of the Excise business of a district, and not for the purpose of meeting increases of expenditure in salaries. The recent improvement in the position of the divisional officers was not made conditional upon reductions in the collections.