HC Deb 07 June 1901 vol 94 cc1325-6

I beg to ask the President of the Board of Agriculture whether any scheme is in contemplation for reducing the number of temporary civil assistants in the Ordnance Survey at Southampton; and, if so, whether he will explain what that scheme is, and whether such reduction means a reduction in the number originally proposed; and whether, in the case of temporary civil assistants being moved from Southampton, some allowance may be made to them for the expense of moving their household goods, and some extra consideration shown for married men with families.


The strength at Southampton has of late been abnormally large in order to enable the large arrears, which had accumulated through the sudden increase of publication required for the revised maps and through want of accommodation, to be worked off. These arrears have now been reduced, and some small branches of the work having been practically completed, it has been necessary to reduce the staff. This has been done partly by absorbing all vacancies, partly by transferring employees elsewhere, principally to Ireland. With regard to the second paragraph of the question, the existing practice is that the railway and steamboat fares of the wives and children of all married assistants of twelve years service are paid from public funds when such assistants are transferred from one division of the Survey to another, or when they have to move such distances as render necessary a journey by rail or by boat; and those fares are also paid in the case of families of employees on the Survey of not less than five years' service when moved on duty between England and Scotland, or between those countries and Ireland.


May I ask whether new buildings have not lately been erected?


I do not think that arises out of the question on the Paper. New buildings have been put up, but they have nothing to do with the increase in the staff.