HC Deb 23 April 1913 vol 52 cc336-7

asked the date and text of the Board of Customs authority for employing Customs port clerks on outdoor duties prior to 1908?


The Customs Consolidation Act, 1876, Section 3.


asked what are the salaries of the fifteen senior Customs port clerks, second class, lower section, now included in the officer class; if they were eligible, prior to the amalgamation, for promotion to upper section clerkships in the office of the Accountant and Comptroller-General of the Customs; if the lower section clerks in the outports and those in the Accountant and Comptroller-General's Office were borne on the one common seniority list, and if it was the practice to fill upper section vacancies in this office from the common seniority list; what are the present salaries of the lower section clerks recently promoted in this office; what were their salaries before promotion; and what were their positions on the common seniority list?


The answer to the first part of the question is that one of these fifteen clerks who had been specially promoted to the class and had carried his salary with him is receiving £240, and the remaining fourteen of them are receiving £160; to the second, third and fourth parts, in the affirmative; to the fifth, £200; to the sixth, £150 or £140; and to the last part, that the clerks recently promoted to minor staff clerkships in the Accountant and Comptroller-General's Office (scale £200-£300) occupied positions junior to the fifteen men above-mentioned, but that in accepting this promotion they have sacrificed the right they previously possessed in common with other late port clerks, including the fifteen mentioned, to progress in default of promotion to a salary of £400.


asked, having regard to the former practice, as indicated by Mr. Gladstone, that if the likelihood of promotion were diminished the Government were bound to make some satisfaction (28th April, 1865), and by Mr. Goschen that officers should have no reason to complain that the terms on which they entered the service have been altered to their detriment (31st March, 1890), and also in the Goschen Minute of 24th March, 1891, what compensation has been given to the senior port clerks, second class lower section, outside the Accountant General's Office, for the reduction of their prospects of promotion due to amalgamation?


The general effect of amalgamation upon the conditions of service and prospects of promotion of these and other officials was carefully considered by the Customs and Excise Amalgamation Committee, and subsequently by myself, and I beg to refer the hon. Member to the provisions of paragraphs 155–157 of the Committee's Report (Command Paper 5830). To this I may add that on 3rd May last, in reply to a deputation, I agreed that these officers should be allowed a second try at the competitions for promotion in addition to a right, if efficient, to progress to £400 without examination.