§ Mr. WILKIE
asked the Secretary to the Treasury (1) whether, notwithstanding the promise that no official in the Customs or Excise services should suffer in prospects or promotion through amalgamation, 1397 port clerks of the Customs will under the Hobhouse Report be merged in the general body of officers and deprived of their present superior classification, which provides for promotion without examination through the various grades to the highest positions in the service; (2) whether in consequence of the proposals for amalgamation of the Customs and Excise services, senior lower section clerks of the second class, in addition to a diminution in general prospects, will be deprived of immediate increases in salary to which they are now entitled, amounting in some cases to £50; and that senior upper section clerks will not only be relegated to a class whose maximum is less than their present salaries, but will be subjected to a competitive examination, arbitrarily imposed as a new condiion of promotion; and, if so, what action will he take in the matter; and (3) whether, in connection with the amalgamation of the Customs and Excise services, steps will be taken to meet the cases of those seniors who, just when they are in turn for promotion, will be faced by new and unfavourable conditions which must deprive many of them of hitherto certain advancement; and whether the principle hitherto observed towards civil servants of granting at least one step of promotion before existing conditions are altered to their detriment will in this case be recognised?
Mr. McKINNON WOOD
The Amalgamation Committee considered the probable effect on the various classes of the application of the new scheme proposed by them, and their report contains proposals for special arrangements in the case of certain classes, including the upper and lower section clerks referred to. I must refer the hon. Member to paragraph 135 of the Committee's Report, showing that they kept in mind the general question of expectations of promotion, and to paragraphs 156 and 157, showing the special terms given to these clerks.
§ Mr. WILKIE
Do I understand the case of those who are expecting promotion is to be met by the new regulations?