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House Of Commons (Staff)

Volume 388: debated on Thursday 1 April 1943

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( by Private Notice)

asked Mr. Speaker whether the Commissioners for the House of Commons Offices have considered the recommendation contained in paragraph 130 (4) of the Sixteenth Report from the Select Committee on National Expenditure, Session 1941–42, and whether they are prepared to extend this recommendation to the staff of the House of Commons Offices?

The paragraph of the Report to which the hon. Member refers relates to a review of professional and technical staffs in Government Departments. The Report states that the review was carried out by assessors representing the professions concerned, such as engineers, chemists and land surveyors, and that their inquiry led the assessors to complain that there had been some cases of delay in approving promotions and increments of technical staffs. The Select Committee accordingly recommended that such delay should be eliminated.

I fail to see what relation this recommendation bears to payments of the House of Commons staff, which are controlled by a Commission set up by Statute. The Commissioners have no evidence of any complaints by the House of Commons staff of delays in the payment of such increases of salary as have been awarded.

The Commissioners have a statutory duty to protect the interests of the servants of this House, and I venture the opinion that it is not in the best interests of the staff that their conditions of service should be dealt with by means of Question and answer in the House.

Following upon the very excellent recommendation contained in the Select Committee's Report, and in view of the fact that it did refer only to certain classes of persons, may I ask you, Sir, whether you would reconsider the question of applying that very valuable recommendation to the officers of the staff on an appropriate occasion in the future?