§ 24. Mr. OLIVER
asked the Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department, as representing the First Commissioner of Works, whether he is aware that a number of night-watchmen employed by his Department, who have been employed continuously since 1911, have been informed that their service prior to 1918 will not be allowed to count for increment purposes, although they signed agreements when first employed which would entitle them to such gratuity as might be awarded under the Superannuation Act, 1887, but the Department cannot find any record of these men prior to 1918, although admitting that they were employed as night-watchmen from 1911; and whether, to ensure that the service rendered by these men shall be counted for gratuity purposes under the Superannuation Act, he will inquire into this matter and say what steps he proposes to take to remedy this complaint?
§ Captain HACKING
(for The FIRST COMMISSIONER of WORKS): Prior to the 3rd February, 1918, the night watchmen to whom the question refers were in the service of the Corps of Commissionaires, and their wages were paid by that organisation, who claimed a refund from the Board, with certain establishment charges in addition, at regular intervals. No agreements were signed by the men until the aforementioned date, when they were taken into the direct employ of the Department, and thus for the first time became eligible for consideration for gratuities under the Superannuation Acts. In these circumstances, the First Commissioner regrets that he is unable to take any further steps in the matter.
§ Mr. OLIVER
Is the hon. Gentleman aware that these men all signed an agreement, and that this particular office acknowledged that they did sign an agreement?
§ Captain HACKING
No. They did not sign an agreement until 1918, when they were taken into direct employment. Since that date they have received all the gratuities to which they are entitled under the Superannuation Act.