HC Deb 16 December 1912 vol 45 cc1085-6
38. Mr. TOUCHE

asked the Secretary to the Treasury whether the superior duties performed by second officers of Customs ceased on the 1st April, 1909, when the £ 10 allowances were withdrawn; whether he can state why a £10 allowance was paid to Customs officers transferred to the Excise while the allowance was discontinued in the case of second officers, although serving under practically identical conditions in regard to irregular attendance?


The duties performed by second officers of Customs did not cease on the 1st April, 1909, but from the date on which the £10 allowance was discontinued the improved scale of salary was granted. As regards the remaining part of the question, I have nothing to add to the answer I gave to the hon. Member on the 7th August last, except that the £10 allowance recommended by the Amalgamation Committee as compensation for diminuition of overtime earnings, to which the hon. Member appears to refer, has since been assigned to all officers, including second officers, who were entitled to receive it. This latter allowance has no connection whatever with the abolished £10 allowance to second officers.

34. Mr. TOUCHE

asked the Secretary to the Treasury whether there is any precedent for reducing the rate of pay to which a group of Civil servants are at any given time actually entitled; whether he is aware that the Committee for the Amalgamation of the Customs and Excise de- clared the principle of reduction to be inequitable even where reforms might have-been cited by "way of compensation, and that, in spite of this, the Board of Customs and Excise have reduced the rates of certain officers from 2s. to 1s. 6d. per hour; and will he say whether this departure from the ruling as to reduction laid down by the Hobhouse Commission will be put right by restoring to such officers the rates which they were receiving prior to 1st December?


The new scale of overtime pay gives certain officers a lower rate than the old scale at one stage of their service, but it gives them a higher rate at another. I am not aware that the Amalgamation Committee imposed any such limitation with regard to the rate of overtime pay as the hon. Member suggests. I cannot admit the principle that one point in the new scale should be considered entirely apart from the rest of the scale, and from other changes which have been made in connection with overtime. Taking the whole of the circumstances into account, I see no reason, as I informed the hon. Member on the 27th ultimo, for departing from the new scale.


Will the right hon. Gentleman consider whether, in view of the duties of the officers, it is equitable to reduce the rates they have been actually receiving? It seems very unfair to do so.


It is a question of the rates for overtime, and I think, considering the length of the overtime, they will make up for it on the new scale.