HC Deb 03 July 1911 vol 27 cc940-1W

asked the Under-Secretary for War whether his attention has been directed to the fact that, in addition to a reduction of rank and pay, a large number of surveyors' clerks in the Royal Engineer Department have been, from 1st April, 1911, reduced in travelling allowances from the position of commissioned officers to that of barrack labourers; and could he see his way to arrange in favour of those surveyors' clerks who held first-class rank on 31st March, 1911, and are now reduced to second class that they should be allowed, as heretofore, second-class rail travelling allowance and first class on steamers?

Colonel SEELY

On account of reductions certain first-class clerks were given notice of discharge, but accepted appointments as second class clerks, and as such draw the same travelling allowances as barrack wardens, and not as barrack labourers, as stated in the question. I am afraid I cannot undertake to vary the conditions under which they accepted service as second class clerks for these particular men.

Captain FABER

asked the Under-Secretary for War whether, with regard to the reduction of first class surveyors' clerks both in rank and pay, he will state whether the major-general of administration, Southern Command, has stated that it has not been found practicable to carry out the work in accordance therewith, and has asked for the retention of first class surveyors' clerks; whether the bills of quantities for periodical painting contracts are not included in second class clerks' work, but should be done now either at headquarters or by an outside firm; whether it has been proposed that a second class clerk should prepare the quantities for a new contract at Tidworth at a bonus of some three pounds, whereas an outside firm would charge at least £25; and whether he will inquire into this case of sweating?

Colonel SEELY

The Southern Command have asked for the retention of first-class surveyors' clerks in R.E. district offices, but this has not been approved. The preparation of bills of quantities for contracts is not included in the duties of second-class surveyors' clerks as laid down in the regulations. It has been proposed that a second-class surveyor's clerk should prepare bills of quantities and be given a bonus for doing so, but this has not been approved. The work will be carried out by an outside firm.