HC Deb 20 March 1890 vol 342 cc1237-8
DR. TANNER (Cork Co., Mid)

I beg to ask the First Lord of the Admiralty whether, since the 20th of January last, a considerable number of the Lower or Second Division Clerks in the Seamen's Pay Branch of the Admiralty have been ordered to work eight hours daily instead of seven as heretofore; whether it was understood, on engagement prior to the date in question, that these clerks' daily office hours were from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; whether the extension of office hours has been necessitated in consequence of arrears; and, if so, whether such arrears were consequent upon a numerically insufficient staff; and whether, in view of his reply in this House on the 10th of December, 1888, to the hon. and learned Member for Preston, vide Hansard 331, 397, and 1576, any remuneration has been, or will be, given for the extra work; and, if so, at what rate?


It is the fact that the Lower or Second Division Clerks in the Seamen's Pay Branch of the Admiralty have been required to give extra attendance at the office since January last. The necessity for this extra attendance is due to arrears of work having accumulated. The question as to the sufficiency of the present staff of this particular branch is under consideration; but, in the meanwhile, temporary assistance has been given from other branches of the Department. It is under consideration to give some additional pay to the clerks of the Second Division, from whom this extra attendance has been required.


May I ask the noble Lord whether, under the circumstances mentioned in the question, it is legally competent for the Admiralty to compel the attendance of Second Division Clerks beyond the recognised seven hours per day, and is he aware that the Treasury allow the Second Division Clerks 1s. 6d. an hour for overtime?


I think it is undesirable to raise any further question as to what extra services the Department are entitled to call for in times of emergency.


I will put a further question on a future day, in order to afford the noble Lord the opportunity of giving me a proper answer.