HC Deb 04 July 1890 vol 346 cc794-5

I beg to ask the Vice President of the Council whether certain of the writers, who have seen considerable service, recently employed in the Science and Art Department, South Kensington, have been dismissed; whether there are still employed in that Department a certain number of men who are obtained through the agency of Messrs. Waterlow, to whom the Government pay Is. per hour, out of which the men receive but 9d. per hour; and if he can explain why persons employed under the sweating system are retained in the Public Service in preference to those of prolonged official experience and tried capacity?


Seven copyists engaged in April last were discharged from the Stores Division on June 27, when the special work for which they were taken on was finished; two others were dispensed with from the Science Division on June 16 and 18, but these found immediate employment from Civil Service Commission. Ten clerks from Messrs. Waterlow are at present employed by the Department in the Art Division, but these will be discharged about July 20. As they have become acquainted with the special work on which they were employed, it would have been inexpedient to have replaced them by them copyists discharged from the Stores on June 27. Messrs. Water-low's men are employed solely because the Civil Service Commissioners were unable to furnish sufficient copyists, to meet the needs of the Department during the pressure of work connected with the annual examination. Messrs. Waterlow's clerks are dispensed with immediately the Civil Service Commissioners notify that registered copyists are available. The Department paid Messrs. Waterlow at the regular rate for law stationers' clerks, and has no control whatever over the amount which the clerks receive from Messrs. Waterlow.