§ 27. Mr. McENTEE
asked the Financial Secretary to the Treasury whether he is aware that many protests have been made from time to time by the appropriate staff association concerning the system in operation in the statistical office of the Customs and Excise Department for assessing clerical work by units for the purpose of standardising the output of staff; and Whether he will now give directions for the system to be abolished?
§ The FINANCIAL SECRETARY to the TREASURY (Mr. Duff Cooper)
I assume that the hon. Member refers to a practice which for several years past has obtained in the Statistical Office of the Customs and Excise, whereby records are kept of the number of statistical items dealt with by individual clerical officers. I am aware that protests against the continuance 1204 of these records have been made by representatives of the staff concerned, but I am satisfied that the records are necessary for the purpose of the proper apportionment of the work and for the determination of the number of staff required, and I am not prepared to sanction their discontinuance.
§ Mr. McENTEE
Does the hon. Gentleman remember the reply he gave me in the last fortnight in which he said that this pernicious system was not in operation in any Department of the Government, and will he reconsider the matter and see that the Department concerned is not placed in an unfair position compared with other Departments?
§ Mr. COOPER
The operation of it in this Department is solely for the purpose of record, to find out how much work each employé is carrying out in order to ensure that the apportionment of work is fairly distributed, and to keep a record of how many employés are necessary. It has nothing to do with their remuneration.