HC Deb 17 May 1897 vol 49 c622
MR. T. P. O'CONNOR (Liverpool, Scotland)

I beg to ask the Secretary to the Treasury whether he is aware that in the Second Report of the Ridley Commission (1889) it was recommended that the new entrants to the re-organised Second Division of the Civil Service should be employed upon the lowest class of clerical work; whether the present scale of salaries was founded upon those recommendations; whether, since the issue of that Report, other grades lower than the Second Division and engaged on inferior work have been established; and, if so, whether the character of the duties performed by the Second Division has been accordingly raised; and whether he will grant an inquiry into the nature of the duties of the clerks of the Second Division appointed subsequently to the above-mentioned Report under the Order in Council of 21st March 1890?


The answer to the first paragraph is, Yes; if in clerical work the hon. Member does not include copying. A class of copyists was, of course, contemplated by the Commissioners. The Report of the Commission, it was found, did not provide for a class of work in certain departments of a higher order than copying but not of sufficiently advanced or responsible character to be assigned to clerks of the Second Division, and the class of Statistical Abstractors, who continue the work of the old class of copyists, was created. The result has not been to raise the character of the duties performed by the Second Division. The present scale of the Second Division was fixed subsequently to the Treasury Minute reserving power to appoint abstractors, and in view of its provisions, and in any case all Second Division Clerks entering since that date (10th August 1889) have entered with a knowledge of the conditions of service.