§ Mr. GREENE
asked the Secretary to the Treasury whether he is aware that the annual allowance of £3 proffered to second class Customs port clerks by the Hobhouse Report represents the average overtime pay throughout the class under the old system; and whether, in view of the promise that collectors' offices will continue to be staffed on the basis of a normal seven-hour day, any increase of expenditure will be incurred if Customs port clerks are permitted to forego the allowance of £3 and to continue to enjoy their old rates of overtime pay for all attendance in excess of seven hours per day?
§ Mr. MASTERMAN
The answer to the first part of the question is in the affirmative. As regards the second part, I beg to refer the hon. Member to my answer of the 21st ultimo to the hon. Member for St. Stephen's Green.
§ Mr. GREENE
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer, whether he is aware that the average age of Customs port clerks, second class, upper section, now included in the officer grade of the amalgamated Customs and Excise Department, is approximately thirty-four years; whether, under the Report of the Customs and Excise Amalgamation Committee, one-half of them will be deprived of all opportunities of promotion after the year 1917 at the latest, and will be compelled as a result of the amalgamation to remain for the remaining twenty-one years of their careers in the lowest grade of the amalgamated service and to perform the duties of that grade only; and, if so, whether, having regard to the fact that they have hitherto been eligible for promotion without examination at any period of their careers and that they entered the public service by an examination designed so to test the abilities of candidates as to render further examination unnecessary, he will consider the advisability of providing for the absorption of every capable upper section clerk in the supervising grade?
§ Mr. LLOYD GEORGE
The present average age of officers who were lately Customs port clerks, second class, upper section, is approximately thirty-five. As regards the other points in the question, I beg to refer the hon. Member to the reply given by the Secretary to the Treasury, on the 20th ultimo, to my hon. Friend the Member for Luton, and to state that I see650W no reason to alter the existing arrangement in the direction suggested.