§ Mr. KELLY
asked the Attorney-General whether he is aware that messengers taken into employment at the Land Registry since 1920 have been recruited from the ex-service men's class and paid the wages and conditions laid down for messengers, with the exception of the yearly increments; that a claim for these increments has been under discussion since 24th November, 1925, without a settlement being reached; that the society representing the men has never discussed or agreed to the reorganisation scheme of 1923, and that the matter has never been discussed on the Departmental Whitley Council, with the result that the increment claim has never been settled; that a precedent exists in this Department in that pre-War attendants received arrears of increment; and whether he will see that the arrears of increment are granted or, alternatively, agree to the matter being settled by the arbitration court for the Civil Service?
§ The ATTORNEY-GENERAL
I am informed that the claim to which the hon. Member refers was made on behalf of certain men who had been serving in732W
miralty in the administration of pensions now and in 1913–14 and the percentage cost of such administration in 1927–28 and in 1913–14, respectively?
§ Lieut.-Colonel HEADLAM
The particulars are as follow:
a temporary capacity in the Land Registry before their appointment as messengers in 1923, and was for payment of arrears of increment in respect of their temporary service. Their case was provided for under the reorganisation scheme of 1923, the terms of which were explained to accredited representatives of the men and accepted by them after discussion by the staff side of the Departmental Whitley Council. This claim has repeatedly been made in the course of the past two or three years and has on each occasion been refused and no reason is shown for granting it now. I understand that the Department is not aware of any case which would serve as a precedent for admitting the claim in question. No claim has been made for arbitration on this matter. Any such claim should, in accordance with the usual procedure, be submitted to the head of the Department.