§ 37. Mr. W. THORNE
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he is aware that Customs watchers employed in 1596 His Majesty's Customs are paid 21s. per week in the out ports and 24s. per week in the Port of London, with the addition of 2s. per week good conduct allowance after ten years' approved service, also that many of these men have not received any increase in their weekly wages since 1900, with the exception of this good conduct allowance; whether, in view of the fact that 4,500,000 persons had received a war wage increase averaging 4s. a week and that the cost of living had increased over 30 per cent. as compared with pre-war prices, he will now grant to Customs watchers the war bonus which has been granted to other Government workers on weekly wages; and whether he is aware that many duties in connection with the War are now being performed by all grades in the Customs and Excise service?
§ The CHANCELLOR of the EXCHEQUER (Mr. McKenna)
The position of the Customs watcher class has been improved since 1900 in several points besides that mentioned in the question, and any overtime attendance due to War pressure is paid extra at the usual rates. As regards their claim for a special war bonus, I can only refer my hon. Friend to the answer I gave to the hon. Member for Barrow on the 25th November last.