§ MR. CONYBEARE (Cornwall, Camborne)
asked the Postmaster General, Whether it has been hitherto a rule that promotion from Second Class (Grade 1) to First Class (Grade 1) Clerkships in the Secretary's Office of the Post Office should be made by selection for merit; whether the fact that such promotions would be made on this principle was announced by the Post Office (through the Civil Service Commissioners) to competitors at all recent open competitions for Grade 1 Clerkships at which clerkships in the Secretary's Office of the Post Office were awarded; whether he has recently refused to promote from Class 2 to Class 1 in the Secretary's Office a clerk who was recommended to him by the Secretary as deserving such promotion; whether he has insisted on promoting in his stead a clerk against whose promotion the responsible heads of the Secretary's Office have unanimously protested, such clerk being eli- 890 gible neither on the ground of merit nor of seniority; and, whether it is his intention to re-consider his action in the matter?
§ THE POSTMASTER GENERAL (Mr. RAIKES) (Cambridge University)
I believe that the hon. Member has correctly stated the practice as regards promotion in the Postal Service in the first and second Questions which he has placed on the Paper. It is also the fact that I have recently declined to adopt the Secretary's recommendation to promote to the First Class one of the junior officers in the Second Class over the heads of several clerks of much longer standing. The gentleman whom I have promoted was, in my judgment, fully qualified for promotion, and was the senior clerk in the class, with the exception of one officer who, on the Secretary's recommendation, has been passed over on about 16 occasions. I have received no such protest as the hon. Member refers to; and I think he can scarcely be aware how serious a breach of discipline such a protest would constitute. I have no intention of re-considering my decision in this matter.