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5 May, 1927.]

Brig.-Gen. Sir SAMUEL H. WILSON,

[Continued.

K.C.M.G., K.B.E., C.B., and Sir EDWARD STEPHENSON, K.C.M.G.

of those Islands, and the Oversea Settlement Committee act as agents, defraying the expenses incurred in the first instance. For this work, a charge of 10 per cent. is made. They act as agents on behalf of the Government and get their money back with a small commission.

3620. You mean they are collecting migrants from those two places?-That is so, at the expense of the Island Gov

ernments.

Sir Robert Hamilton.

3621. What is the number of staff at the Colonial Office for the year under review? (Sir Samuel Wilson.) The staff for both offices in the year under review was as follows: Political 3, administrative staff 111, clerical 236, manipulative, messengers and so on, 71; making a total of 421.

3622. How does that compare with the numbers of the pre-war staff?—The total number in 1913-14 was 189.

3623. To what is the large difference due? I think the increase was primarily in the number of the clerical staff, which increased from 88 to 236.

The

3624. When you say the clerical staff, do you mean the upper grades or the lower grades?-The lower grades. administrative staff in the year under review was almost exactly double what it was before the war. It was 55 in 1913-14, and 1925-26 it was 111. Those are the people admitted through Civil Service examination. The general clerical staff was 88 in 1913-14, and it increased to 236 in 1925-26. Of course, the work has increased enormously. The number of papers registered in 1913 was 135,000. It is now 306,000. They have more than doubled. I should think the actual work has trebled if not quadrupled as compared with what it was in 1913. That I account for by the fact that the Colonial Office since the War has had to take over the various mandated territories. We have the whole of the Middle East which we did not have in 1913, and also the Colonies are developing very rapidly. To give you an idea of what I mean-to take Nigeria alone, the exports of Nigeria 1913 were valued at £7,097,646, while in 1926 they were £16,888,361.

Sir Fredric Wise.

3625. Have you the tonnage ?-No. I give you the total trade.

3626. The tonnage is the point.

Sir John Marriott.

3627. Are the figures you are giving us in weight or value?-They are in value. The total trade increased in the same period from £4,554,000 to £13,573,000. The number of officials employed in Nigeria increased from 1,600 in round numbers to 2,200, and the expenditure of Nigeria increased from £2,872,000 to £7,691,000. The actual staff in the Colonial Office in the department dealing with Nigeria consisted in 1913 of one principal clerk and three juniors to assist him. In 1926 there was one assistant secretary, but that only means that the title was changed, because he corresponded with the principal clerk; and he had four juniors to assist him. One junior had been added to the department and instead of having a of four officers consisting of the head of the department and three officers, there were the head of the department and four officers. In that department the work has certainly doubled, and I should even think it has a good deal more than doubled. The other increases are primarily due, I think, to the League of Nations. The League of Nations has thrown a tremendous amount of work on the Colonial Office. Then there are innumerable Committees meeting nowadays which one never heard of in 1913. There is all sorts of research work which is being gone into which had not to be done before.

Sir Robert Hamilton.

total

3628. Has the re-organisation by which the Medical research work was brought under one head in the Colonial Office increased the staff to any extent?-It has to this extent. There is one additional officer who has been appointed medical adviser, and he has a part-time clerk to assist him.

3628A. The figures you have given us. I take it, cover the whole of the work of the Dominions as well as the Crown Colonies? Yes. The total figures which I gave you for the years 1913 and 1926 included the Dominions Office.

5 May, 1927.]

Brig.-Gen. Sir SAMUEL H. WILSON,

[Continued.

K.C.M.G., K.B.E., C.B., and Sir EDWARD STEPHENSON, K.C.M.G.

3629. The figures for the year under review also include the work done by the Dominions Office?—Yes. Of

Major Salmon.

3637. For the future, if I understand you correctly, the Dominions Office and Colonial Office will have two separate Votes ?—That is right.

course, for 1927-28 there will be a further inthe in view of the fact that the crease Dominions Office includes the Empire Marketing Board and the Oversea Settlement Committee.

3630. Can you tell us by how many the staff will be increased in the coming year? The figures for 1927-28 will be: Colonial Office, 357; Dominions Office, 147; making a total of 504, which includes the Empire Marketing Board and the staff of the Oversea Settlement Branch.

Sir John Marriott.

3631. What is the staff of the Oversea Settlement Branch? What does it consist of only four or five?-The figures I have given you include 53 officers on the staff of the Empire Marketing Board, of whom 12 are technical officers. I am afraid I have not got the figures for the Oversea Settlement Branch, and it is not in my department.

Chairman.] That can be put on a later Account.

Sir Robert Hamilton.

3632. Does the Empire Marketing Board come into this Vote or not?-Not the Vote that we are considering. It

did not exist then. It will be in next year's Vote.

Mr. Pethick-Lawrence.

3633. With regard to the Dominions Office, in future years are you going to show two distinct Votes, or is it all going to be included in one?-There will be two distinct Votes. It is a separate office now, and from the 1st April, 1926, it has had a separate Vote.

3634. So that that will begin next year? Office -Yes. The was only divided during the year you are now reviewing. That is why I have certain things connected with Dominion affairs in my Vote.

3635. During the year under review the two have been included, for the period that they were separate, in the one Vote, and you are answering for them both?-Yes.

3636. In future you will only answer for the Colonial Office?-In future I shall only answer for the Colonial Office and the Colonial Services Vote.

3638. But the figures that we have before us include both?-Yes, the figures I have given include both.

3639. Will the effect of dividing the Department into the Dominions Office and the Colonial Office, have the effect of increasing the cost in the aggregate? -When the Office was divided it meant an additional Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State and an additional Permanent Under-Secretary of State. There were certain savings in the lower ranks, resulting in a net increase in the cost of the two offices when separated of about £2,300 a year in salaries. It is impossible to say whether having the two separate Offices will mean a further increase in cost in the future.

to

I suppose the natural tendency will be have slight increases in having two departments instead of one, but I do not see that it should lead to any very great increase.

3640. I suppose it would be true to say that in the Estimates for the year 1927 the Colonial Office expenditure under Vote A will be higher than in 1926? Yes, I think it will be £2,000 or £3,000 higher owing to certain additional officers that have been appointed to the staff. In the present year's estimate an item for an agricultural adviser has been included which we have never had before, and owing to the increase in work we have been forced most reluctantly to ask for additional assistance in the registry. In the last year alone the papers passing through the registries in the Colonial Office have increased by 14 per cent. We have had 30,000 more papers registered this year than last year.

3641. What has arisen that necessitates you having an agricultural expert now when you are separated?-You asked me just now if the Colonial Office Vote will be bigger; the appointment of an Agricultural Adviser has nothing to do with the division of the two Offices. Even if we still had the Dominions division in the Colonial Office an agricultural adviser would have been just as necessary as today. The appointment has nothing to do with the division of the Offices.

5 May, 1927.]

Brig.-Gen. Sir SAMUEL H. WILSON,

[Continued.

K.C.M.G., K.B.E., C.B., and Sir EDWARD STEPHENSON, K.C.M.G.

3642. It is quite a new appointment? -The appointment has not yet been made.

3643. But it is proposed to make it? Yes. The Treasury have included an item in this year's Estimate for paying such an officer.

3644. Has a new piece of work been undertaken by the Department which has necessitated an officer of this kind? -I do not think so, except that as the Colonies develop and as so many of them depend entirely on agriculture, we realise that we have not had sufficient expert advice on this subject in the past, and that we want it in the future.

The

3645. Do you think that one individual will be able to supply you with the necessary expert information?-We hope so, with the assistance he will get. idea is that he should preside over an advisory council at the Imperial Institute in which he will have other people who are experts in the different subjects. The Secretary of State appointed a Committee under Lord Lovat-Lord Milner was originally the Chairmanand that Committee has recommended the setting up of an advisory council at the Imperial Institute which will be presided over by the agricultural adviser. We hope that on any subject on which he is not an expert himself he will be able to pick the brains of the members of that council.

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criticism which the Department comes in for on the ground of not doing its work properly is due to its being under-staffed owing to the increasing pressure of work. 3648. There is no work being done that 1 is not essential?-I do not think so. am going into the question to see in what way we can adopt a scheme of to the local devolution leaving more Governments of the Colonies instead of referring work to the Colonial Office. I hope in that way that we may be able to check the increase in the work.

Sir Fredric Wise.

3649. When an officer is seconded to another State such as the Government of Iraq, is not the full salary and bonus of that officer paid by that particular country or State? I am referring to the item of £358 14s. 4d. among the receipts payable to the Exchequer. That is in reference to the salary and bonus of an officer seconded for service financial adviser to the Government of Iraq? That is the refund from the Iraq Government for the salary of Mr. Vernon who has been lent as financial adviser to the Iraq Government.

as

3650. Is that his total salary?—No. It is only for part of the year.

3651. On page 151 there is the follow"An ing note: Assistant Secretary, Middle East Department (£1,000-£1,200) received an allowance from the Iraq Government as from 30th September, 1925, to bring his salary up to Rupees 4,000 per month whilst acting as Financial Adviser." Does he get 4,000 rupees per month? Yes, that is his salary.

3652. It is rather a nice salary, is it not? Yes.

3653. Anyhow, it is paid by the Iraq Government?-Yes.

Mr. Briggs.

3654. On page 150 I see a reference to the post of Chief Registrar not being filled. What are the Chief Registrar's duties? In the past there were three Registrars in the Colonial Office, and there was one charge Registrar in of all three. When that post became vacant it was not filled. They are separate now; we have a man in charge of each registry.

5 May, 1927.]

[Continued.

Brig.-Gen. Sir SAMUEL H. WILSON, K.C.M.G., K.B.E., C.B., and Sir EDWARD STEPHENSON, K.C.M.G.

3655. Then this really is not an economy?-The post has been abolished.

3656. It is going to be abolished apparently from what you say by the establishment of three posts?-But there was always somebody in charge of each registry, and there was a superman above the three.

3657. You are doing away with the superman? The superman has been done away with.

3658. He must have been super for many years?-That I cannot say. I was not there.

3659. The rather surprising thing is that you told us this registry work was so greatly increasing, and yet apparently you are going to do without the superman that has been necessary in the past? -The whole of the registry has been reorganised. Just before I came back to the Office a Committee had been sitting for about a year, on which the Treasury was represented. They made various recommendations, with the result that the work was divided up between three registries. We have two in the Colonial Office and one in the Dominions Office. Each registry is in charge of a separate

man.

3660. So that this post is not going to be continued?-It is not.

3661. When you referred just now to the staff of the Department being overworked, did you mean the higher grade or the secondary grades?-I was referring more to the adminstrative staff— the higher grades.

3662. Not to the ordinary clericals?The clerical grades are also complaining of overwork. As I said previously, we have had most reluctantly to ask the Treasury for additional assistance in the registries.

3663. The ordinary clerk is overworked and is complaining?-I think they are all overworked.

3664. What hours are they working?— They work the ordinary Government hours.

3665. We discovered the other day that the Government work 33 hours a week? -I shall have to work out how much our clerks do.

3666. What I want to appreciate is how any staff can complain that they are overworked when the Government hours,

as we have been told-and you say the hours in the Colonial Office are the same -are from 10 to 5, and from 10 to 1 on Saturday. I want to know whether there is any justification whatsoever for complaining that they are overworked?—1 think if they work over their time they are entitled to claim overtime, but that is a matter for the Treasury. They work according to the hours laid down.

3667. But you hardly deal with my point, Sir Samuel. You said that they put in a claim that they are overworked, and when I ask you what hours they work you say they work the Government hours. Then I ask what are the Government hours. The Government hours are from 10 to 5. That being so, I would ask you whether you consider that anybody working from 10 to 5 can legitimately claim that they are overworked and require

an

increase of staff?-Well, that, of course, is a matter of opinion.

3668. What is a matter of opinion?They are paid a certain amount per annum for working certain hours, and we abide by the Treasury rates. I personally do not think that from 10 to 5 is a day's work. In my own case I am generally there at 10 o'clock and I stay until half-past 7, and generally take work home with me.

3669. 1 am not pressing this matter in this one particular instance only; it is my intention to press it on every possible occasion, because so far as I can discover when the Department are asking for an increase of staff, as you have to-day suggested is likely to happen, I want to know whether it is justified in view of the hours they are at present working?

on

Chairman.] I do not want to interfere in the least, Mr. Briggs, but I think the position of the witness and the Committee is quite clear. A week or two ago this same question arose another account, and after discussion it was cleared up for the purpose of our needs quite plainly by a question which was asked by Mr. Pethick-Lawrence and replied to, if I remember rightly, by Mr. Watson. The principle was put quite plainly on the notes. So that it is clear that you can hardly cross-examine Sir Samuel Wilson on what is the Treasury

5 May, 1927.]

[Continued.

Brig.-Gen. Sir SAMUEL H. WILSON, K.C.M.G., K.B.E., C.B., and Sir EDWARD STEPHENSON, K.C.M.G.

regulation. But what would be in order would be to ask the witness about the circumstances in the Colonial Office and about the volume of work. That, 1 think, is a fair statement of the position.

Mr. Briggs.

3670. It may be the terms I used were rather wide. You put it to us, Sir Samuel, in answer to a question, that you had under consideration an application from your staff for an increase of staff, as the present staff were overworked?I do not think I said I had under consideration an application from the staff for an increase in staff. I said we very reluctantly had had to ask the Treasury for an increase in the staff of the registries, which they have approved, owing to the increase in the amount of work passing through the registries. I have had no application coming from the staff for an increase.

3671. I understood you to say there was a claim made by some section of the secondary grade staff. To what extent that claim had been made on the ground that they had been overworked is what I am trying to discover?-I do not think I referred to any claim. The Honourable Member asked me whether I considered the staff were overworked, and I said

yes.

3672. May I ask you this. Have you under consideration, or do you think it likely you will have under consideration, an increase of your staff on the ground that the present staff have more work than they can properly cope with ?-Not if I can help it, not if I can cut down the work or reorganise the staff to cope with the work that we are faced with

now.

you

3673. I gather from that that have it under consideration?-I have under consideration a scheme of devolution, to see whether we can cut down the correspondence between the Colonial Office and the local Governments overseas and leave more to the local Governments to deal with.

3674. Therefore you have the suggestion in front of you that your staff are overworked?—Yes. I do not think they get sufficient time to consider the bigger work. There is too much routine work.

3675. Therefore we have arrived at a point that your staff feel they are over

worked. What I would ask you now is, do you consider that they can possibly be overworked when they are only working from 10 to 5?-Well, they work the hours laid down by the Treasury. In my present position I have no authority for increasing those hours. If you can get the Chancellor of the Exchequer, or whoever is the responsible person, to alter the Order in Council I am quite ready to make my people stay another hour or two hours, whatever is settled, and I will see that it is done.

3676. I do not quite know, Mr. Chairman, whether it is permissible for me to press Sir Samuel for an opinion?

Chairman.

at

3677. I am always reluctant to stop any Member asking questions. After all, we are here to get all the information we can, but it is perfectly plain that Sir Samuel Wilson can hardly reply on that, or indeed the witness for any other Department. This is a matter which is considered by the Treasury under broad regulations applying to the Civil Service as a whole. The Government Departments have to abide by those regulations. It would fall to us as a Committee at the end of this year to consider the question broadly and generally if we wish to make any observation upon the matter on the Accounts large, but I think you can hardly press that point on the witness from one Department, not being a witness from the Treasury, the Treasury being the appropriate Department to cross-examine upon this question.-(Mr. Phillips.) May I say I am quite incompetent to give evidence on that, but there is one remark which you made which I could reply to, namely, that the hours referred to are the hours normally worked in Government Offices in Whitehall. They do not apply to the Provinces, and they do not apply to the Post Office in London. They apply to a certain fraction of Government employees.

3678. What I had in mind was the clerical grades?-Exactly.

Mr. Briggs.

3679. What I was really wanting the opinion of Sir Samuel Wilson upon was not the question as to whether he thought the whole question of Government hours

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