HC Deb 21 May 1928 vol 217 cc1490-1

asked the Under-Secretary of State for India whether he will state for what reason the concessions recommended in the Report of the Lee Commission, which have been extended to other officers of the provincial services of European domicile, have been refused to officers of the Madras port services, seeing that a recommendation has been made to the Government of India by the Government of Madras in favour of the inclusion of these officers in the list of beneficiaries?


The Secretary of State in Council, in consultation with the Government of India, carefully considered the case of the Madras port officers, and decided that, while the three selection appointments might be declared superior, it was impossible so to classify the rest of the service. In accordance with the principles stated by me in this House during the discussion on the Civil Services Bill of 1925, and followed consistently in dealing with officers appointed by local governments in India, concessions have ben granted to those who held superior appointments on 1st April, 1924, and the case of the remainder left to be dealt with by the local governments under their own powers.


May I ask whether we are to understand that out of 12 officers in this service nine are to be ranked as of inferior service, and three only as of superior service, and whether it would not be possible for the Government of India to make some definite rule which would prevent the feelings of hardship which exist at present, as I understand that in other cases of the Madras Government all other services are included.


My hon. Friend has not understood my reply. I said that there were three selection appointments which might be declared superior, but it was impossible so to classify the rest of the service. It would be impossible to lay down a definite rule throughout India because, as I stated in the House in 1925, in order for a service to rank as superior a post must be roughly equivalent in status and responsibility to the All India Service. It is the duty of the local authorities in consultation with my Noble Friend the Secretary of State to decide on the particular merits of each individual case. The hon. Member's suggestion would really involve injustice rather than justice to the claimants.