§ SIR HORACE DAVEY (Stockton-on-Tees)
I beg to ask the Secretary to the Treasury whether a Memorial has recently been forwarded from a large number of the Customs outport second-class clerks, praying for compensation for loss of prospects, and for re-arrange- 1895 ment of promotion, and whether the Board have declined to grant the prayer of the memorialists; whether the Treasury contemplate any immediate improvement in the position of these clerks, on the lines of the recent improvement in that of the Second Division of the Civil Service; whether a further reduction in the number of the first-class outport clerks is contemplated, and whether the vacancies in the list of clerks rising to £300 are intended to be filled up; whether it is intended to apply the seven hours system to the clerks as a body; and, if so, on what terms; and whether he will include the alleged grievances of these clerks in the inquiry which it is understood he is conducting in the matter of the outdoor branches of the Customs Service?
§ THE SECRETARY TO THE TREASURY (Mr. JACKSON,) Leeds, N.
A Petition has been received from a number of Customs outport second-class clerks, and has been refused by the Board as unreasonable. No reduction in the number of Customs first-class outport clerks is contemplated, but, of course, no pledge can be given that the existing number shall be rigidly maintained. No vacancies in the list of clerks rising to £300 at present exist. It is not intended to apply the seven hours system to these clerks as a body, but clerks accept promotion to the first-class on the understanding that they are liable for the seven hours. I regret that I cannot extend the inquiry I have undertaken in the case of the outdoor branches so as to include these clerks.