§ MR. JOSEPH DEVLIN
On behalf of the hon. Member for East Mayo, I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland, whether he can state what substantial advantages have been received by the Catholic officials of the Veterinary Branch of the Agricultural Department in addition to pension rights; whether the new arrangement carries with it any reduction in salaries; whether he is aware that these officials on their present scale of increment would have served thirteen years before receiving salaries of £2 a week, and that the pension after twenty-six years service and upwards would be only 15s. a week; and whether any effort will be made to improve their position.
§ MR. WYNDHAM
The Question presumably refers to some temporary clerks who were employed at weekly rates of pay before they were placed on the permanent establishment of the Department. In addition to pension rights they obtained the advantage of a more secure position, annual increments of salary, and sick leave privileges on full pay. As temporary clerks they were paid at the rate of 35s. a week, which is equivalent to £91 a year; on promotion they were paid an initial salary of £90. A salary of over £2 a week will be reached after six years established service; had they remained on a temporary footing their remuneration would have continued stationary at 35s. a week. No question of religion enters into Departmental promotions, and the Department is at all times ready to consider the claims of its officers for advancement when opportunity arises.