§ MR. KELLY (Camberwell, N.)
asked the First Lord of the Treasury, Whether it is intended to give effect to the recommendation contained in Clause 123 of the Second Report of the Royal Commission on Civil Establishments, in which the Commissioners expressed a hope that steps might without delay be taken to carry out the recommendation made in paragraph 31 of their First Report, and repeated in the Second, to the effect—"That the hours of service in all Offices for all classes should be fixed at 7;" and, whether there is any objection to the immediate application of the recommendation in the case of the clerks of the Lower Division, seeing that provision has already been made for the salaries of such clerks under such altered conditions by the Order in Council of 1876?
§ THE FIRST LORD (Mr. W. H. SMITH) (Strand, Westminster)
The 155 general approval of the Government of the seven-hour system has already been expressed, and they will give effect to the principle whenever and as opportunity occurs; but the introduction of seven hours means in most cases a corresponding reduction of staff, and, therefore, the case of each Office must be considered by itself. The Government are not aware that any of the Public Departments are suffering from a deficiency of clerks; but the recommendations of the Royal Commission on Civil Establishments will receive careful consideration.