HC Deb 19 March 1913 vol 50 cc1041-2

asked the Secretary to the Treasury whether, seeing that a considerable increment must accrue to the Treasury by the administration of the recent orders governing overtime in the Customs and Excise service, he will advise the Treasury to devote a portion of this increment, not exceeding £1,350 for the first year or more than £3,000 for any future year, to the cost which will be incurred if the watchers of the Customs and Excise service are granted a weekly wage of 30s. after twenty years of approved service?


The answer is in the negative. I am not prepared to admit the accuracy of the assumption on which the hon. Member bases his question.


asked if the examination of preventive men of Customs for promotion to the grade of preventive officer of Customs, held in London only on 19th February, 1913, and following days, was competitive or only qualifying; if competitive, then for how many posts; if only qualifying, then has the standard of qualification been raised since previous examinations for preventive officerships; in what proportion will the total marks be divided between the written and the oral examinations; whether two of the Customs officials at present acting as examiners of the written portion of the examination failed to pass the examination which they attended for examining officerships some years ago, and have not passed since; whether all the preventive men called up for examination last month are in their twentieth year or more of service, and about 100 of them have not had a previous chance of qualifying for promotion; and what steps are to be taken in cases of failure?


The answer to the first part of the question is that the examination is a qualifying one, for which the standard of qualification has been raised in accordance with the recommendations of the recent Committee on the Customs Waterguard Service; to the second, that the proportion is 10.4; to the third, that ever since the Waterguard was constituted a separate branch of the Customs service, over twenty years ago, none of its members, including the two in question, have been eligible for an examining officership, a post belonging to a quite different branch of the service and with quite different duties; to the fourth, in the affirmative; and to the fight, that candidates unsuccessful at their first attempt are allowed a second trial.