HC Deb 21 July 1896 vol 43 cc269-70

I beg to ask the Secretary to the Treasury whether the boy messengers employed in the Statistical Office, Customs, London, receive an annual increment of pay 56 per cent. greater than that received by the majority of established men clerks engaged in that office; and, if so, whether he can see his way to remedy this inequality?


The majority of men employed in the Statistical Office of the Custom House. London, are of a grade lower than that of clerk, entitled "statistical abstractor." They are paid on a scale of annual salary common to abstractors throughout the service—namely, a scale rising from a minimum of £80 to a maximum of £150 by annual increments of £2 10s. The office of boy messenger in the Customs Department is a temporary appointment: the boys employed, whose services are discontinued when they attain the age of 20, are paid weekly wages a, the rate, of 6s. 6d., rising by 1s. 6d. a week per annum to a maximum of 14s. a week. The annual increase in the weekly wages of boy messengers is 56 per cent. greater than the annual rate of increment of the grade of abstractors, but the two situations are obviously of such totally different characters that a comparison of this kind, relating to a single incident of their respective emoluments, is valueless.

MR. L. P. HAYDEN (Roscommon, S.)

I beg to ask the Secretary to the Treasury what is the reason of the delay in appointing the new grade of assistants of Customs; and, whether he would take early steps to appoint those men who have been declared qualified for the position, and remove the dissatisfaction which at present prevails?


There is no undue delay in appointing the new grade of assistants of Customs, a considerable amount of detail, with a consideration of the circumstances of each port, being involved. The work of assigning numbers to the respective ports is in a forward state, and, when this work is completed, successful candidates will, within the limits of the aggregate number sanctioned by the Treasury, be forthwith appointed. Meanwhile, the Treasury have allowed the Board to make these appointments retrospective to the 1st January last, so that no pecuniary loss will ensue to to the officers appointed. No expression of dissatisfaction on the subject has reached the Board of Customs.