HC Deb 19 February 1894 vol 21 cc732-3
MR. THEOBALD (Essex, Romford)

I beg to ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether an Order issued by the Commissioners of Her Majesty's Customs in January, 1894, debarring officers in that Department from becoming members of School or other Local Boards, unless the permission of the said Board has been previously obtained, was issued by Order or with the consent of the Treasury; and whether this Regulation is to be applied to all the other Departments of Her Majesty's Service; and, if not, will he explain on what grounds?


The particular Order by the Commissioners of Customs referred to was not submitted to the Treasury, but it is in accordance with the general principles which have been laid down by the Treasury in regard to officers of the permanent Civil Service accepting local offices. I would refer the hon. Member to Parliamentary Paper No. 399 of 1882, containing the reply of the Treasury in Lord Beaconsfield's Government to a letter of Sir Richard Cross inquiring whether it was proper to allow officers in the convict service to accept nomination to local offices such as waywardens, members of School Boards, &c, in which it is stated that 'the Rule laid down without exception was that no extra employment should be permitted in respect of which the officer is liable to be called away during office hours. I would also refer him to the answer of Mr. W. II. Smith, First Lord of the Treasury, given on December 6, 1888, to a question whether Civil servants could be permitted to become candidates at the approaching elections for County Councils. Mr. Smith replied— The question has been carefully considered by the Government, and they are of opinion that members of the Civil Service should not be permitted to become candidates for the County Council. It is obvious that the discharge of duties on the County Council would seriously conflict with their duties in the Civil Service. A Treasury Minute to that effect was circulated to the Heads of Departments in order that they might he able to give information and issue instructions to their staffs. The Order of the Commissioners of Customs of January 31, 1894, appears to me in strict conformity with this Minute, and it is obvious that the duties connected with such local offices may seriously conflict with the attendance of Civil servants during their office hours.


Does the Order apply to Civil servants who are Directors of Co-operative Stores?


It applies to all employments which may conflict with the time which Civil servants are engaged to devote to the Public Service.