HC Deb 10 May 1923 vol 163 cc2591-2W

asked the Financial Secretary to the Treasury whether, in view of the confusion arising as to the relations between the Treasury and the commissionaires employed upon warding duties in the British Museum whereby these men, although paid by the State, are not placed in the same category as other State employés in consequence of their private connection with the Corps of Commissionaires, and are not treated in the same way as comparable classes in the Civil Service, both as regards hours and wages, he will agree to apply to these men the provisions of Award A 81, as offered to them in October, 1920, with any improvements which may have been conceded since to the grade to which the award was originally applied, and thus place these commissionaires on a distinct footing and on an equality with similar servants of the Crown?


I am not aware that any confusion exists as to the position of the commissionaires at the British Museum. Since the issue of Award No. A 81, which applied to unestablished messengers, the Civil Service Arbitration Board have given separate and special consideration to the case of the commissionaires and have issued an Award in regard to them. They are now being paid in accordance with that Award, and I cannot admit that they have any title to concessions made as regards an entirely separate grade of Government servants. Apart, however, from the questions of grading and pay which have been recently decided, the Trustees are quite willing to consider any representations the commissionaires may have to make in regard to their conditions of service if they will put them forward in the ordinary manner.