§ Mr. BECKER
asked the Financial Secretary to the Treasury what is the total number of non-service men temporarily employed in the Department of Customs and Excise; whether a Substitution Committee was ever set up in that Department, as requested by the Lytton Report; if so, how was it constituted; what was the date of its last meeting; and were the ex-service men in the Department allowed adequate representation thereon?
With the exception of four technical experts who are employed on a part-time basis, only one non-service man is now employed temporarily in the Customs and Excise Department. He has been retained so far on the ground of extreme hardship. A Substitution Committee was set up in the Department under paragraph 8 of the Lytton Report in October, 1920, and was constituted as laid down in that paragraph, viz., an officer of the Establishment Division and two representatives of the Staff Associations, one representing the ex-service men, and one representing the women employed in the Department. The Committee last met in July, 1921, having by that time reviewed the case of every temporary non-service employee in the Department.
§ Mr. BECKER
asked the Financial Secretary to the Treasury whether he is aware that the Department of Customs and Excise have refused to recognise the local branch of the Association of Ex-Service Civil Servants; and whether, seeing that this association represents the majority of ex-service men temporarily employed, he will ensure that they are in future duly recognised as a staff association in the same way as they are recognised in all other Government Departments?
I am not clear what the hon. Member means by the term "recognise." If he refers to representation on departmental Whitley bodies, I would point out that this is a matter for the staffs concerned to settle amongst themselves.
§ Mr. GREAVES-LORD
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether, seeing that there is a vacancy for a watcher in 639W the Department of Customs and Excise, Greenock, and that Mr. Dunsmore, a pre-War pensioner, having served in His Majesty's Forces for 27 years and having been awarded the M.C. for gallant conduct and devotion to duty, was submitted for the post and rejected on account of age, he will consider whether the procedure of age limit may not in this instance be waived and Mr. Dunsmore allowed to take up the appointment for which he would appear to be particularly fitted?
§ Mr. SNOWDEN
Appointments to the grade of watcher are restricted to ex-service men who are under 50, and in receipt of life pensions. Having regard to the number of eligible candidates awaiting appointment there is no valid reason for waiving the rule as to age in favour of Mr. Dunsmore.