HC Deb 14 May 1896 vol 40 cc1318-9
MR. J. P. FARRELL (Cavan, W.)

I beg to ask the Secretary to the Treasury, whether his attention has been drawn to the fact that the lowest grade on the minor establishment in the Stationary Office, i.e., porters, enjoy an increment of 1s. per week, or £2 12s. per annum, with the further prospect of becoming warehousemen at salaries of £120, rising by £4 annually to £150 per annum, whereas the lowest grade on the major establishment of the Stationery Office, i.e., posting clerks of the abstractor class, receive an annual increment of £2 10s., a lower increment than that enjoyed by porters; whether posting clerks have any further promotion open to them in the Stationery Office; and whether he will take steps to remedy this state of things?


There are three classes of porters in the Stationery Office. Their initial pay is 20s. a week, and the two lowest classes rise by annual increments of 1s. to 23s. and 27s. respectively. The top class are paid at various rates not exceeding 36s. a week. The hon. Member will therefore see that the porters start at £52 a year, that their increments (being dependent on their promotion from class to class) are intermittent, not continuous, and that their highest pay is £93 a year, which is hardly as much as the initial pay at which the posting clerks started. The porters have no claim to promotion to the class of warehousemen, whose scale is £100 (not £120), by £4 to £150, though they are eligible for such promotion if specially qualified. The posting clerks belong to the general class of abstractors, who started as a rule at something over £90 a year, and rise steadily by £2 10s. to £150. The class was created a few years ago for the performance of work of a higher order than copying, but not of a sufficiently advanced or responsible character to be assigned to clerks of the Second Division, and I cannot admit that they are not paid well enough for the work they do. There is obviously no analogy either between their continuous increments and the intermittent increments of the porters or between their more or less rudimentary clerical work and the responsible duty of supervising labour in a warehouse.