HC Deb 06 February 1854 vol 130 cc269-70

said, he begged to ask the hon. Secretary of the Treasury whether the promotion of two-fifths of the lockers and weighers in the Customs service, instead of one-fifth, as originally intended, had worked satisfactorily to the Government and the employés?


said, he was glad the this question had been put, because he believed that considerable disappointment existed in consequence of the very small number of inferior Customs officers who had been promoted to high situations. This, however, was not to be traced to the fault of the Commissioners, nor to any want of desire on their part to carry out the Resolution which the House passed on this subject during the last Session. The Board had issued instructions to the Surveyors General to recommend those officers whom they thought deserving of promotion. These officers had accordingly recommended sixty lockers and thirty weighers; but of these ninety persons only ten were found, on being submitted to examination, to be in any way fitted for the higher offices to which they aspired. One of these had been appointed to a higher office, the duties of which he was discharging in a satisfactory manner. The Commissioners of Customs and the Treasury by no means undervalued the principle established by the House last year. They felt that its adoption would most probably have the effect of materially increasing the energy of that class of officers, and in leading them to qualify themselves for higher offices. He might mention as a proof of what might be done by energetic self-cultivation that the only one of the inferior officers who had accepted a higher position had originally entered the service as a porter in the weighing-office—the lowest in the establishment.