§ MR. L. P. HAYDEN (Roscommon, S.)
I beg to ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what is the number of fixed officers of the outdoor and indoor branches of the Inland Revenue, respectively; the number of officers in each branch dismissed, reduced, removed on censure, or censured, during the year 176 ended the 31st December 1894, entailing loss of annual increment of salary, and promotion within a stated period; whether the censure stands recorded against him while in the service of the Commissioners, and is taken into consideration as against his character when his time for further promotion or superannuation arrives; whether this system obtains in any other Department of the public service; and whether he will consider the advisability of a reform in the system of punishment of public servants holding appointments in the Department?
§ SIR W. HARCOURT
The number of fixed officers of the outdoor and indoor branches of the Inland Revenue respectively are 4,077 and 1,326. The number of officers in the outdoor branch dismissed during the year ended 31st December 1894, was two; 13 were reduced; 10 removed on censure; and 15 censured. No indoor officer received a punishment entailing loss of annual increment of salary and promotion within the stated period. Although a censure stands recorded against an officer during his service, its effect on his increment is limited to one or two years, as the case may be. It also retards his promotion by six months or a year. Censure does not as a rule affect an officer's superannuation allowance, unless it is of recent date, or the offence has been very grave. I have answered this question as to facts, but I would appeal to the hon. Member and to the House not to seek to take the discipline of a great Department out of the hands of those responsible for its administration. In no Department is it more necessary that this responsibility should be maintained than in the outdoor Excise. If there are grounds of complaint in particular cases I will undertake to inquire into and deal with them, and I will be responsible for it. That is an office which this House cannot discharge, and I am satisfied that there is no case for such a change as that indicated by the hon. Member.