§ Sir HENRY KIMBER
asked the Chancellor whether he is now in a position to inform the Customs port clerks of a date on which he is prepared to grant the interview first solicited by them on 5th September last in regard to the recommendations of the Customs and Excise Amalgamation Committee; and, if not, whether he will assure the Customs port clerks that it is his intention to receive their deputation?
§ Mr. LLOYD GEORGE
I regret that the pressure on my time is so great as to make it impossible at present for me to receive a deputation on this subject. As regards the latter part of the question, I can give no pledge except that I will consider the matter.365W
MARQUESS of HAMILTON
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether his attention has been called to the adoption by the Treasury of the recommendations of the Hobhouse Committee on the Amalgamation of the Customs and Excise Departments, whereby over 100 second-class principal clerks in the offices of collectors of Customs and Excise are recommended to be reduced from the supervising grade in which they hitherto ranked to that of the officer grade; whether he is aware that twenty-seven of these principal clerks have already passed the examination for the rank immediately above them and others had practically completed their preparation when the examination was discontinued; is he aware that the Board of Inland Revenue in 1903 abolished the examination for the promotion of clerks to the principal clerkship as unnecessary; and, seeing that this imposition of two examinations on these officials will, in the event of failure, entail an actual loss in salary of at least £500, and, in the event of their surviving their superannuation, an additional loss, in the case of average lives, of at least £500, whether he will take steps to ensure that good faith is kept with them in accordance with the assurance given by the Financial Secretary to the Treasury to the House of Commons on 10th June, 1908, to the effect that no hardships would be allowed to accrue; whether he will give an assurance that these officials will be retained without any further examination on them; and will he say if it is contemplated to examine the clerical staff in all Government offices when they arrive at fifty years of age before further promotion?
§ Mr. LLOYD GEORGE
The case of these clerks was fully considered by the Hobhouse Committee, and there is no ground for the suggestion that the change involves any loss of dignity to them, or that efficient clerks will not do as well in the way of promotion as on the old lines.