4 JUNE 1836, Page 14


THE Commissioners of Customs have perhaps greater power of obliging private friends, and annoying those against whom, for any cause, or no reason, they may happen to have a grudge, than

any other body of men in the country. It is the knowledge of this fact, and the fear of giving offence, which restrains many who suffirr from their caprice or neglect of duty, from preferring their complaints against these important persons. We have repeatedly heard individuals exclaim in private against their idle- ness and insolence ; but until Tuesday last, when Mr. HUTT called the attention of the House of Commons to their dilatory and capricious mode of getting through business, we do not remember to have seen any public charge against them. We do recollect, however, that -not very long ago, the nine Commissioners peti- tioned Parliament to increase their salaries from 1,200/. to 1,400/. a year,—and that was a suspicious circumstance ; as gentlemen svla were over-worked would probably find 1,200/. a year sufficient; idlers are generally those who require most money. Besides, there is nothing in the position of a Commissioner of Customs that requires a large outlay or expensive establishment. We were not surprised, therefore, to leap from Mr. Herr, that these Commissioners take a holyday on Saturday, never conde- scending to hold a Board on that day, and by no means regularly on Mondays. Here is the reason why 1200/. a year is not enough for them. Mr. DEAN, the Chairman, we learn, has been exceed- ingly active in paring down the pittances of the subordinates; he has no compassion for clerks—low fellows who are obliged to work on Saturdays. But Mr. DEAN had better look to himself and his eight colleagues—too many by half-a-dozen for any useful pur- pose. Mr. HUME has given notice for a return of the number of days on which they were in atteudance on their duties last year ; and we hope that they will be made to account for every day's absence satisfactorily, or else be docked of so much salary, on the same rule that they would apply to their clerks.

The fact is, that the Customhouse department wants overhaul- ing, fully as much, we understand, as the Post-office ever did. An active investigation should be instituted into its constitution and proceedings—the Commissioners' mode of disposing of their extensive patronage, and matters of that description. Mr. HuTT may perform essential service to the community, and especially the commercial portion of it; by following out what he has so well begu n.