§ MR. TUITE (Westmeath, N.)
I beg to ask the Secretary to the Treasury if he will take into consideration the grievances of certain clerks in the Inland Revenue who entered the Second Division from the Excise branch, and were next transferred to the Taxes Surveying branch on the faith of an assurance from their Board that they would thereby become eligible upon having completed a service of 10 years, inclusive of their Excise service, to compete for promotion as assistant surveyors; whether the Treasury afterwards repudiated this assurance by stopping the promotion of the first successful competitor, on the technical distinction that his 10 years' service was not wholly in the Second Division; and whether, in consequence of this decision, these clerks have been recalled to the head office and placed at 1467 the bottom of the establishment, to the great detriment of their position and prospects; and whether, having regard to the practical equality of the service rendered and the service formally required, and the exceptional rules applying to the Taxes branch, also to the fact that the claims of these officials have the full support of their own Department, he will endeavour to mitigate the hardship of their position by recommending the Treasury to withdraw its objection, and permit their Excise service to rank in the qualifying period as it has since been modified under the Ridley Scheme?
§ THE SECRETARY TO THE TREASURY (Mr. JACKSON, Leeds, N.)
I am informed that the Board of Inland Revenue were under the impression that in the case of certain clerks in the Inland Revenue who entered the Second Division from the Excise branch, and were transferred to the Tax Surveying branch, service in the Excise branch would count as part of the period of 10 years necessary to qualify them for admission to the Tax Surveying branch, and that competitors were so informed. The certificate of the Civil Service Commissioners was, however, necessary before appointment to the Tax Surveying branch, and those Commissioners pointed out that under the Order in Council it was clear that none but service as Lower Division clerk could count as part of the qualifying period, and they refused to certify. The Civil Service Commissioners are, of course, bound by the Order in Council; the Treasury has no power to override it. I may add that there has been no repudiation by the Treasury of any assurance given by the Inland Revenue Department, and I am informed that only one clerk successfully competed for the position in the Tax Surveying branch.