§ Mr. ERNEST EVANS
asked the Attorney-General (1) the number of clerks serving in the District Probate Registries who were appointed to their positions before the passing of the Supreme Court of Judicature (Officers) Act, 1879; what is the date of their appointments, respectively, and what salaries they are receiving; how many of the clerks in such registries were appointed since the date of the said Act; and how many of these are in possession of a Civil Service certificate;
(2) what scale of salaries is paid to clerks in District Probate Registries; and what payment, if any, is made to them on retirement from the Service; and
(3) whether he is aware that clerks in the District Probate Registries who were appointed to their positions before the passing of the Supreme Court of Judicature (Officers) Act, 1879, were at one time entitled to pensions on retirement; if they are still entitled to pensions on retirement; if not, when and why they were deprived of the right to pensions; and what provision is now made for them on retirement?
§ The ATTORNEY-GENERAL
Besides temporary clerks, 121 clerks are serving590W in District Probate Registries, of whom seven were appointed before October, 1879, when the Supreme Court of Judicature (Officers) Act of that year became law. The salaries paid to these clerks are regulated by directions given from time to time by the President of the Probate Division, with the approval of the Treasury, under Section 110 of the Court of Probate Act, 1857 (now Section 109 (1) (a) of the Supreme Court of Judicature (Consolidation) Act, 1925). Many of these clerks are in receipt of additional allowances in respect of agency work or lodging, or are in enjoyment of housing acommodation in the offices of the Court. Figures are not available showing the total amount of remuneration received by each pre-1879 clerk. None of the clerks has been appointed with Civil Service certificates, nor were those of them who were appointed before 1879 at any time entitled to pensions, though for a short period (between 1912 and 1913) pensions were awarded to such clerks under a misapprehension of the law. When they have been required to devote their whole time to their official duties, they are eligible for compassionate gratuities under Section 4 of the Superannuation Act, 1887, as amended by Section 3 of the Superannuation Act, 1914. Legislation is in course of preparation to provide for the staffing of the District Probate Registries on a Civil Service basis with regular scales of salary, pension privileges, &c, in accordance with a scheme of reorganisation which has been discussed with, and agreed to on behalf of, the Clerks' Association.