HC Deb 21 February 1888 vol 322 cc1000-1
MR. KING (Hull, Central)

asked the Under Secretary of State for India, Whether he will lay upon the Table a Copy of the Despatch of the Secretary of State, with reference to the block in promotion and other grievances of the Telegraph Department in India; whether any officers of the Department have as yet accepted the offer for retirement made in that Despatch; whether, under the system of grading instituted by that Despatch, and the abolition of the privilege hitherto in favour of officiating promotions being from grade to grade, many officers are mulcted of a large percentage of their emoluments, while the Government saves a very large sum; on what grounds permanent promotions are fixed by the Despatch to be made only twice a-year, on the 1st April and 1st October, and whether he is aware of any precedent for such a provision in any other service of the Crown; whether the fixing of the 31st March as the latest date for the submission of retirements has practically operated to take away the inducements for retirement in nearly all the cases, if not in every case, where retirement under the regulations of the Despatch would have offered any advantage; and, whether, in the circumstances, the Government will re-consider its proposals?


(1) Yes; if the hon. Member will move for it, I will lay it on the Table. (2) None. (3) No officers are damaged, as the rights of all existing officers are safe-guarded. (4) No such provision is made in the Despatch. It was introduced by the Government of India; but no reasons for it have been communicated to the Secretary of State. (5) The date, the 31st of March, was fixed to give every officer ample time for consideration. The Secretary of State is not aware that the inducement to retire has been taken away thereby. (6) The Secretary of State will wait till the 31st of March before further considering the matter.