It is desirable, on several accounts, that all the officers of a bank, and especially those who are entrusted with cash or other property, should once a year have leave of absence for at least a week or a fortnight. This should not even be optional-it ought to be a fixed rule with which they should be expected to comply. These absences should be arranged to take place at those seasons of the year when they will be of the least inconvenience to the business of the bank. These holidays ought to be readily granted on the ground of kindness and humanity; but where these feelings do not exist, motives of self-interest alone would prompt a ready acquiescence in such applications. In the first place, a great inconvenience is often experienced in large establishments from the illness of the clerks when they are denied proper seasons of relaxation. In this case, the loss of time from ill-health is greater than that which would be occasioned by holidays. A sick clerk, even when he attends to his duties, is neither so quick, nor so correct, nor can he get through so much work, as a clerk who, by proper recreation, has been kept in perfect health. These occasional holidays tend very much to improve the efficiency of an office. When a clerk is absent, the next in seniority takes his place; and when all the clerks have been absent in turn, every duty in the bank becomes perfectly familiar to at least two persons, so that in the case of those absences which arise from unavoidable causes, little inconvenience comparatively is felt. But while the bank is thus rendered independent of any one individual, it must not be supposed that the absence of a clerk lessens the importance attached to his services. When a clerk is really efficient, an c sional absence renders his value more apparent, and increases the estimate formed of his character; while the indulgence he has received will stimulate his energies and increase his desire to render himself more than ever useful to his principals.
Another advantage to a banking establishment from the absence of their clerks is, that it furnishes an additional guarantee for their honesty. We have known instances of frauds being carried on for several years by clerks who were constant in their attendance, while a single day's absence would necessarily have led to a detection of their dishonesty. When a clerk takes his holidays, all the property under his care is given over into other hands; and the knowledge that he will be called upon to do this periodically, may deter him in the first instance from commencing a career which must be thus necessarily exposed.