HC Deb 27 June 1899 vol 73 cc769-70
MR. STEADMAN (Tower Hamlets, Stepney)

I beg to ask the Secretary to the Treasury it he will explain the reason why some bonded vaults and warehouses situated in the Port of London, and under the control of Her Majesty's Customs Department, are permitted to remain open for nine hours per day all the year through without the proprietors being called upon to pay any overtime charges, while other bonded vaults and warehouses similarly situated and under the same control are only permitted to be open for seven hours a day in winter (four months in the year) and eight hours in summer, unless the proprietors are charged overtime for the Customs officers' attendance beyond these hours; and whether this important privilege has been granted at the request of the proprietors of the warehouses concerned.


None of the vaults or warehouses referred to are allowed to remain open for nine hours a day all the year through, as a regular rule, either with overtime or without. On sufficient cause being shown, however, arrangements are made for keeping open a warehouse as occasion may require; and there are about 50 stations in London at which warehouses are usually open in this way. In such cases overtime charges are always required both for the "superintendent locker" and for occasional visits of inspection by a surveyor. Whether any overtime is paid to the Customs representative at the warehouse depends on several circumstances if the warehouse can be left in charge of a watcher, overtime is not required unless either the watcher is required to give a total attendance in excess of that covered by his regular weekly wage or a dirty is assigned to the watcher not in direct connection with his ordinary daily employment. In all cases where a watcher is left in charge the business to be transacted is of a simple character.