§ 40. Mr. GOLDSTONE
asked the Secretary to the Treasury whether he is aware that a number of unattached surveyors of Customs and Excise, formerly Customs first class examining officers, without previous experience of Excise or old age pension business, are now in charge of Excise districts, to the detriment of the prompt performance of the official work of the Department at a time of exceptional pressure; whether, on account of their lack of acquaintance with their new duties and inability properly to supervise officers of whose work they have had no former experience, certain of these unattached surveyors have made application to revert to their former grade; whether a number of Excise districts are without a permanent surveyor, to the detriment of the public interest and the legitimate prospects of the junior officers of the Excise branch of the amalgamated service; and what action he proposes to take in the matter?
§ Mr. MASTERMAN
It is an essential feature of the amalgamation of the Customs and Excise services that some officials, trained in one side, should be employed from time to time on the work 1180 of the other, and this has been done in a few cases by the Board of Customs and Excise. Two of the unattached surveyors referred to have been permitted to revert to their former work. The disposition of the staff is in the hands of the Board of Customs and Excise. I have no reason to believe that the arrangements made by them have operated to the detriment of the public service, and I do not propose to interfere with their discretion in the matter.
§ Mr. GOLDSTONE
Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that the effect has been to prevent the promotion of men who are fully acquainted with the work, who are being superseded by men drawn from another branch of the service?
§ Mr. MASTERMAN
No. My right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer and myself have seen deputations on the subject and do not think that there is any real grievance in connection with the matter.