HC Deb 15 May 1918 vol 106 cc359-60
56. Mr. C. DUNCAN

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he is aware that an Order was issued on 26th March, 1918, by the Board of Customs and Excise governing the annual leave allowed to officers during the years 1918 and 1919; whether he has noted in that Order that Customs and Excise officers normally entitled to thirty-two days' leave per annum are now only allowed eighteen days', despite the fact that their superior officers, normally entitled to thirty days' annual leave, are given twenty-two days' annual leave; whether he will take steps to ensure that these officers, who have been victims of every reorganisation of the Customs and Excise service, shall no longer be penalised in their leave; and whether he will consider that some compensation is now due to them?

Mr. BALDWIN (Joint Financial Secretary to the Treasury)

The Order of the 26th March last respecting annual leave refers not to the years 1918 and 1919, but to the current leave year, which runs from April, 1918, to March, 1919. It provides that for the present the leave to be allowed to officers and surveyors is not to exceed eighteen and twenty-two working days respectively (periods which I think the House will agree are not illiberal under war conditions, especially as the men get public holidays in addition), and it definitely states that further consideration will be given to the question of leave in October next. As I informed the hon. Member on the 20th and 29th November last, all leave is subject to the requirements of the public service, and no question of compensation arises if the leave given falls short of the maximum.