HC Deb 03 July 1913 vol 54 cc2201-2W

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he is aware that first-class examining officers of Customs at Hull, who have passed two severe Departmental examinations qualifying them for the highest positions in the Customs service, are not required to carry out the duties hitherto performed by employés of the lower grades, who have either not passed or failed to pass such examinations; if he will state whether there is any precedent for so reducing senior officers of long service and good character; whether the first-class examining officers who have suffered from retardation of promotion are to receive compensation for total loss of prospects, although all other grades have benefited by the amalgamation of the Customs and Excise services; whether the special consideration and treatment recommended by the Hobhouse Commission is not to be given to these officers; whether General Order 5/1912, which allows senior qualified officers of good character upon reaching their maximum salary to enter the new class of surveyor will be carried out, or will these officers be debarred from further progress in the service; and whether it is intended to reconsider the claims of such senior first-class officers as have acted for several years in place of surveyors and thus proved their fitness for promotion?


As I stated in reply to a question put by the hon. Member for Barrow on 14th December, 1911, I see no reason for departing from the recommendation of the Hobhouse Committee that first-class examining officers should be incorporated in the new grade of officer, and I do not admit that this class has suffered thereby either in dignity or prospects. The Committee also recommended that the properly qualified members of the class in question should be promoted to the surveyor grade without examination, but did not contemplate that their turn for consideration would arrive before they reached their maximum salary of £340. A concession which I announced in May of last year to a deputation on which the first-class examining officers were represented, has, however, greatly accelerated the rate of promotion, very much to the advantage of the properly qualified officers. Those not properly qualified have not been injured in any way, and the recommendations of the Hobhouse Committee and the provisions of the General Order 5/1912, based thereon have been more than carried out.