asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he is aware that in the months of May and July last the work of the surveyor of Customs and Excise was, notwithstanding two permitted absences from Portobello of seven days in May and five in July, performed in its entirety by weeks of continual overwork with complete satisfaction by Mr. R. G. Norton; and, in these circumstances, will the payment of £32 1s. 3d. withheld for such work be now paid?
The recognised conditions of service of Customs and Excise officials provide that their leave in the year in which they retire from the public service must be proportionate to the length of service given in that year, and that during short absences on leave, such as those referred to in the question, they cannot be provided with a substitute. Mr. Norton voluntarily retired from the service on the 31st August last in order to suit his own convenience. By that date he had exceeded the leave to which he was entitled by 16 days, and the Board of Customs and Excise, following the usual procedure, surcharged him in respect of the excess leave. I am not prepared to ask the Board to re-open this case.