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Register House, Edinburgh—Clerks' Gratuities

Volume 181: debated on Monday 19 August 1907

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I beg to ask the Secretary to the Treasury whether he is aware that by minute, dated 14th September, 1893, the Board of Treasury sanctioned gratuities to engrossing clerks in the Register House, Edinburgh, calculated at the rate of £120 a year, or on the average earnings of three years immediately preceding retirement; that this minute was communicated to the clerks, and has formed the basis of their employment to this date; and that gratuities to all clerks retiring between 1893 and May, 1906, were calculated and paid on the basis of £120 or the average earnings, whichever were greater; whether he is also aware that Mr. Alexander Fisher retired in May, 1906, after thirty-two years' service, and with a certificate from the head of his department that he had been a most exemplary clerk, and had kept up during his long period of service the best standard of character, and that his gratuity was calculated at the rate of the average of three years' earnings, although, owing to infirmity, he was unable to earn £120 in any one year; and whether there was any reason for departing from the terms of the minute and the established practice since 1893 in Mr. Fisher's case.

The Treasury have no power to award gratuities calculated on an amount in excess of the average earnings of the engrossing clerks during the last three years of their service. The sum of £120 was named in the minute of September, 1893, as representing the average earnings of an engrossing clerk during a daily attendance of seven hours; but if this minimum is not reached the gratuity can only be calculated on the average actually earned.