Mr. F. HALL
asked the Secretary to the Treasury whether under a recent order Customs watchers have been deprived of payment for overtime; if, under the same order, Customs officers on the establishment are given an annual allowance of £13 to compensate them for loss occasioned by the new arrangements; if, previously to the making of the new order, both classes of officers were treated in the same way as regards overtime pay; what is the rate of pay of the Customs watchers; and if he will state the reasons for the alteration made?
§ Mr. MONTAGU
Customs watchers have not been deprived of payment for overtime. The conditions relating to overtime pay were altered by an order of June, 1913, and the new conditions taken as a whole are not less favourable than the old. The overtime conditions of the Customs officers referred to are governed by an order of November, 1912, under which a certain section of these officers receive a compensation allowance of £13 per annum. Formerly, on certain kinds of work, watchers received overtime pay from merchants under conditions similar to those applicable to the officers under whom they were employed, but their employment and overtime conditions as a whole were not the same as those of officers, and are not properly comparable. The pay of watchers is 24s. a week in London, and elsewhere 21s. a week (one-fourth of the number rising to 24s. a week) and two good conduct allowances of 1s. a week are granted after five and ten years' service respectively. The overtime conditions were altered as a result of the Report of the Committee on the Waterguard Service and Watchers in 1912.