HC Deb 18 March 1889 vol 334 cc34-5
MR. P. O'BRIEN (Monaghan, S.)

asked the Secretary to the Treasury whether Mr. Murray, deputy chairman, Board of Customs, recently visited Liverpool, and reprimanded certain officers, and ordered their removal to other ports; whether the same gentleman subsequently attempted to pursue a similar course with the officers at London; and, if so, was the legality of his action on that occasion challenged; whether the Board of Customs were compelled to acknowledge the legality of the officers' agitation in London, and to withdraw from the position they had taken up; if the action of the Liverpool officers in connection with the agitation against the extension of hours in any way differed from that of their brothers in London; and, if so, in what manner; whether the order reprimanding the Liverpool officers had been cancelled, and all those who were removed under it returned to their respective stations at. Liverpool; and, if not, would they he restored to their places, and at whose expense had these officers been removed; if Mr. Murray, when in Liverpool, promised the officers interested a copy of a document, read by himself to them and conveying the Board's censure, &c.; if the Deputy Chairman of the Board of Customs, afterwards, when applied to, refused the copy of the said document, and if the Secretary to the Lords of the Treasury would be good enough to lay the original document upon the Table of the House or state its contents; and whether, considering the serious conflict that had arisen, the Treasury would order an independent inquiry?


The question at issue with regard to the action of the Deputy Chairman of the Board of Customs and that of certain members of the staff at Liverpool has been not one of law but of discipline, and I would respectfully represent to the House that it is not a matter which can he properly discussed in an answer to a question of details such as the hon. Member's question contains. The matter in dispute, I am informed, has been settled by the Board of Customs, with due regard to the interests of the Service, and, I believe, of the staff itself.