asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he is aware of the dissatisfaction which exists among the second-class clerks in the Department of the Registers and Records of Scotland, owing to the fact that the salary scale of youths of 18 to 19 entering the lower executive grade with no more than a secondary education is £100—£15—£400, whereas the scale of the second-class clerks, who have been recruited between the ages of 20 and 25, and have had prior professional training and qualifications in law, is £80—£7 10s.— £132 10s.—t10—£300; and whether, in view of the negotiations which were in progress in the last Parliament with regard to second-class clerks, he can now state when these clerks will receive terms commensurate with these considerations?
I am aware of the dissatisfaction among the second-class clerks referred to on the subject of their rates of remuneration, but I am unable to admit the implications conveyed in the comparison drawn with the executive grade, upon which comparison I am informed that a claim by the second-class clerks was made unsuccessfully before the Civil Service Arbitration Board in 1923. The rates of remuneration of the second-class clerks are necessarily dependent upon a reorganisation of staff in the light of the decisions to be taken on the recommendations of the Committee on the Registration of Writs presided over by Lord Fleming, and upon a satisfactory adjustment of the balance between revenue and expenditure in the Sasines Office. The issues involved in these questions are important and complex, and I regret that I am not yet able to say when a reply can be made to the claims of the second-class clerks; but there will be no avoidable delay in reaching a conclusion.
Is it not a fact that the arbitration was given at a, time when the board was drawing to a close and when the same attention was not paid to it? Further, is it not a fact that the Fleming Report had nothing whatever to do with the qualifications of these clerks but rather with the nature of the work that would be required? Further, is it not a fact—