§ Mr. FIELD
asked the Secretary to the Treasury whether he can state how many men have been passed over by the nomination of Messrs. Da Silva, Rule, Gill, and Dampier in the Customs Statistical Office; whether there are nine branches in the Statistical Office, and that the knowledge of the work possessed by Messrs. Rule, Gill, and Dampier is confined to one branch; whether he can state why these men have been left in the same branch for a number of years while others have been changed from one branch to another; whether a thorough knowledge of the work of one branch and no knowledge of any other work in the office is sufficient qualification for promotion; and whether in one appointment some 50 men were passed over?
§ Mr. SEAVERNS
asked how many divisions there are in the Statistical Office of the Customs, and how many new class assistant clerks have been nominated for promotion whose experience has been confined to the work of one division only; and for what reason certain clerks have been retained in one division during the whole of their official careers?
§ Mr. HOBHOUSE
I will answer these two questions together. Mr. Dampier, the junior of the four officers referred to in the first question, will pass over 37 abstractors and 56 tabulators, including four of the latter who have either declined promotion or failed to satisfy the Civil Service Commissioners as to their fitness. There are nine branches in the office, and Messrs. Rule, Gill and Dampier have only experience of one. Transfers from one branch to another are now effected as much as possible in spite of difficulties due to the rapid growth of the office, but the qualification for promotion depends not on general experience of all the blanches, but on capacity to perform work of a higher type in the service outside
§ Mr. FIELD
asked why a number of men in the Customs Statistical Office possessing a checking allowance have been passed over, although a few years ago, when, according to a Board's order, allowances were granted for special merit, these men were specially selected for meritorious service and granted checking allowances?
§ Mr. HOBHOUSE
As I informed the hon. Member in reply to his question of 58th July, 1908, checking allowances are1810W assigned in strict order of seniority to those assistant clerks who are certified to be efficient and of good character, but the possession of a checking allowance does not imply that the holder is of such exceptional merit as will justify the Board of Customs and Excise in recommending him for promotion to a superior appointment.
§ Mr. ALDEN
asked the Secretary to the Treasury how many assistant clerks have been passed over in the Customs Statistical Office by the last three appointments; how many men so rejected are possessed of checking allowances for performing special duties; how long have the three men nominated been performing special duties, and how long have they had the checking allowance; whether two abstractors have been recently advanced for special merit and are now passed over by these nominations; what is the service of these two abstractors; and whether, in view of the number of men passed over by these nominations, he will cause inquiries to be made why men with such a short service and experience of only one branch of the office have been chosen over the heads of clerks having up to 25 years' service?
§ Mr. HOBHOUSE
I assume that the hon. Member refers to the four (not three) assistant clerks nominated for promotion to Port clerkships. Mr. Dampier, the junior of the four, will pass over 37 abstractors and 56 tabulators, including four of the latter who have either declined promotion or failed to satisfy the Civil Service Commissioners as to their fitness; 20 of the abstractors and 17 of the tabulators passed over are in receipt of checking allowances; only one of the four clerks nominated is in receipt of a checking allowance for performing special duties; two abstractors, whose total service is 30 and 29 years respectively, have recently received special increments of salary; they and others have not received nominations because the qualification for promotion in the present case depends not on general experience of all the branches of the Statistical Office, but on capacity to perform altogether different work of a higher type in the service outside.