§ MR. J. H. JOHNSTONE (Sussex, Horsham)
I beg to ask the Secretary to the Treasury if he will state how many of the new tax districts sanctioned by the Treasury in November last have been created, and whether any delay in creating the full number has been caused by the want of experienced assistant surveyors to be placed in charge of them; if, having regard to the increase in the work of the surveyors of taxes, he will consider the desirability of making provision for an adequate and regular supply of trained assistants and of clerks on the permanent establishment of the Civil Service: and, as many surveyors are unable or unwilling to take the full amount of the leave to which they are entitled on account of the accumulation of work in their absence, if he will consider the advisability of providing for an adequate relief staff; and if the Board of Inland Revenue are taking any steps (by the sanction of increased assistance or otherwise) to remove the increased pressure in the ordinary work of the surveyors caused by the revised form of the Abstracts of the Assessments for 1898–9.
§ MR. HANBURY
Nine of the new districts are in process of formation and will soon be constituted. Difficulties have arisen from the want of experienced assistant surveyors. I fully recognise that arrangements should be made which 986 will enable surveyors under ordinary circumstances to take the full amount of leave to which they are entitled. At the present moment the question of making a permanent addition to the number of assistant surveyors, and thereby increasing for the future both the strength of the relief staff and the supply of assistants qualified for the post of surveyor, as well as the question of affording better clerical assistance, is under consideration, and in this connection the work involved in making the Abstracts of Assessments will not be overlooked. In the meantime all necessary temporary assistance is being given for this work.