HC Deb 24 October 1918 vol 110 cc943-4W

asked the Vice-President of the Department of Agriculture (Ireland), if he is aware that the certified attendants in the National Museum, Dublin, according to their terms of appointment were allowed two suits of uniform, one pair of boots, cap, and one greatcoat every two years, as part of their wages, and that this arrangement obtained until November, 1916; if he is aware that the Department of Agriculture at that time issued an Order that one suit, boots and cap as heretofore, and one greatcoat every three years be substituted; if he is aware that no boots or caps have been issued since that date; and, as the uniform, boots, caps, and greatcoats are reckoned part of the wages of the certified attendants, and are calculated as such in pensions and allowances to next of kin, whether steps will be taken to ensure that these men will receive the issue of clothing they are entitled to or that this uniform, etc., be dispensed with, and that its value be added to their present pay?


The hon. Member appears to be under a misapprehension on this subject, as the regulations regarding the position in question provide only for the issue of uniform, the number of issues per annum not being specified. It had, however, been the practice to grant two issues per annum, but some years ago the Department, by desire of the Treasury, in view of war-time conditions and the necessity for effecting all possible economies, arranged for uniform to be issued once annually, the material, however, to be of better quality than that previously issued. The question of giving the attendants referred to the option of receiving a cash allowance in lieu of boots and shoes is at present the subject of correspondence, and will, it is hoped, shortly be decided. In regard to the question of the effect of the above arrangement on pensions, the Treasury has intimated that any attendants retiring from the same class as that in which they were serving before the introduction of the new arrangement in regard to uniform, may on retirement be allowed the privilege of reckoning the value of uniform for pension, etc., at the old figures. The Department are not prepared to accede to the proposal made in the concluding portion of the question.