HC Deb 30 January 1913 vol 47 cc1513-4
90. Captain CRAIG

asked, with reference to the amalgamation of the Customs and Excise services, whether the promotions to the supervising grade of assistant and second-class supervisors of Excise and of 104 first-class examining officers of Customs have been made, subject to the reservation of a proportion of vacancies for upper section port clerks, as indicated in the Amalgamation Committee's Report; have steps been taken to ensure that the relative seniority rights of clerks will be adequately safeguarded and that they will be placed on the same salary basis as if they had received promotion in accordance with the Committee's expressed intention, concurrently with officers of the other grades concerned; is there any reason why the twelve upper section clerks who qualified by special examination for surveyor-ships in July last have not yet been promoted; is he aware that several of the qualified clerks have served for over ten years in their present class and are now at their maximum salary of £300 and that in one or two cases they are nearing fifty years of age; is he aware that the latest-promoted first-class examining officers have been promoted, over the heads of the clerks, from salaries of £240, receiving after less than two years' service in their class immediate increases in salary of £80 per annum; will he state the average annual number of promotions from the upper section class before amalgamation; and is he aware that no upper section clerk has been promoted for almost three years and that the junior first-class examining officers last promoted could not, under pre-amalgamation conditions, have expected promotion for many years yet?


The recommendations of the Amalgamation Committee as to the promotion of upper section port clerks have not been lost sight of. The Committee recommended that forty-two upper section clerks should be promoted to the surveyor grade in the course of the next six years following their report, and, as a matter of fact, in consequence of the concessions made by me to the service in May last, these promotions will be made long before the expiration of the period in question. Subject to this, the statements in the question are generally speaking correct. The average annual number of promotions from the upper section port clerks during the five years preceding the report of the Amalgamation Committee was six.