Skip to main content

Customs Out-Port Clerks

Volume 217: debated on Monday 14 July 1873

The text on this page has been created from Hansard archive content, it may contain typographical errors.


asked Mr. Chancellor of the Exchequer, If he will reconsider the claims of the Custom House Clerks at the Out-ports to be placed on the same footing as the Custom House Clerks in London as to the date of the increase of their salaries, promised by the Treasury Minute of the 28th of November, 1868?

in reply, said, that when the present Government came into office they found a Minute in the Treasury, which conferred certain benefits on the Custom House clerks in London. The Government were of opinion that the matter required their looking into, and they suspended that Minute, thus depriving for a time the clerks of the benefit which the late Government conferred upon them. In doing so, however, the Government gave a promise that the clerks should not be losers in the end. After full consideration, the Government came to the conclusion that more might be done than was recommended in the Minute of the late Government, and more was clone; and, in accordance with the promise, they were paid by reference back to the time when the Minute was first suspended. It was a clear case of vested interests and promised advantages which the Government were bound to respect, and now the noble Lord asked him to do the same for the Out-port clerks. There was a recommendation, no doubt, that their case should be looked into, and, having looked into it, the Government had come to the conclusion that certain improvements in their position and salaries might be effected, and they had been effected accordingly. But there was no claim for what was now asked. They had no vested interest at all at the time when the Government came into office, and if they were now to pay these persons upon the same footing as those who had actually received the benefit before the Government came into office, the effect would be to establish a precedent of this nature—that whenever any improvement in an office took place, the Government would be bound to pay the persons from the time when they first conceived the idea of making that improvement. He could not agree to any such principle.