HC Deb 10 December 1902 vol 116 cc646-7
MR. HEYWOOD JOHNSTONE () Sussex, Horsham

To ask the Secretary to the Treasury whether, seeing that landing officers and watchers in the Customs Department receive extra pay for Sunday duty while waterguard officers do not, he will consider the desirability of putting waterguard officers in this respect on the same footing as landing officers, watchers, and other classes of civil servants; and, considering the number of commissioned boatmen who under the present regulations reach the rank of preventive officer, can he see his way to throw open to those of approved service and qualification a certain number of the vacancies in the rank of assistant landing officer.

(Answered by Mr. Hayes Fisher.) The character of the various duties of the waterguard renders it imperative to have officers in attendance on the arrival and departure of vessels at uncertain periods, and it is therefore a condition of the waterguard service that such duties have to be performed at any hour of the day or night or on any day, including Sunday. Candidates for appointment as boatmen are informed in the printed particulars issued that their hours of employment extend over Sundays whenever required, and that the extent of such Sunday employment varies according to local conditions. The Board of Customs, however, endeavour to arrange that the officers should have a free Sunday as frequently as possible. No overtime is allowed, and the men join the Department on that understanding. Boatmen enter the Department under conditions of age and examination which preclude them from qualifying for the rank of assistant.