HC Deb 28 May 1903 vol 123 cc109-10

To ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, whether, in view of the fact that the Department of Agriculture and Technical Instruction have in their service clerks whose periods of employment as such under the Crown range from nine to eleven years and whose salaries are considerably under £100 per annum, he will state the maximum rate of salary these clerks can receive, when they will reach it in the ordinary course, and how long approximately they will then have spent in the employment of the Crown; whether the salaries of all or any of these gentlemen have been reduced since entering the Department's service, and whether such reductions were due to misconduct or ineptitude. And, whether, in view of the fact that clerical positions, which would have afforded opportunity for promotion for these gentlemen, have been bestowed on persons of less official experience, will he state how many of the temporary clerical staff of the Department have salaries of £100 per annum and upwards, and how long have such persons been continuously in the employment of the Crown, and whether the Department intend to take steps to place both classes of clerks on the same footing.

(Answered by Mr. Wyndham.) In reply to the first paragraph. The number of such clerks is three. Before their appointment they were employed in a temporary capacity only. Their services were determinable at a week's notice, and they had no prospects of advancement. Their present appointments carry valuable privileges, including pension rights. Their salaries rise by annual increments of £2 10s. to £120, and thenceforth by £5 to £150. In two cases the initial salary was at the rate of £90 per annum as compared with £91 5s. when they were temporarily employed. The number of clerks referred to in the second paragraph is two. One had eight years' continuous service under the Crown. They are in the same position in respect to increments and maximum of salary as other clerks of the same class employed in the Civil Service.