§ MR. KELLY (Camberwell, N.)
I beg to ask the Secretary to the Treasury whether the supervisors of Inland Revenue, who are generally between 45 and 56 years of age at the time, have, in order to obtain promotion to the position of Inspectors, to submit themselves to competitive examinations lasting three days, six hours each day, and consisting of the writing out 822 of statements in the nature of essays; whether at such an examination recently held at the Custom House in Dublin, the late supervisor of Middle-ton, County Cork, who was 52 years of age, after having been for a short time in the examination room, fell dead in one of the corridors attached to it, and left a widow and family; whether it is necessary to subject this class of public servants, at such a period of their lives, to competitive examinations, in order to ascertain their fitness for promotion to Inspectorships, or whether there is any other method; and whether, in such latter event, he will consider the desirability of abolishing a system which involves competitive examinations of the kind five years only, in some cases, before the compulsory retirement, on the ground of age, of those who have to submit themselves to them as the only means of obtaining promotion?
§ THE SECRETARY TO THE TREASURY (Sir J. GORST,) Chatham
The examination is a pass and not a competitive one. The essays which have to be written are on subjects connected with the official duties of the candidates. The unfortunate death alluded to in the second paragraph was the result of natural causes, and in no way connected with the examination. The system has been in force for 50 years with satisfactory results. It is acceptable to the members of the Department generally, and I cannot suggest any improvement upon it.