§ MR. KNOX
I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland what is the rule for promotion from a lower to a higher class of Resident Magistrates; why Messrs. Holt Waring, J. C. Gardner, W. J. Paul, F. B. Henn, and N. L. Townshend were promoted over the heads of numerous other officials of greater seniority; and why Mr. J. B. Irwin was promoted from twenty-eighth in the second class to the first class?
§ *MR. JACKSON
The general rule bearing on promotions has been already stated more than once in this House, and I would refer the hon. Member to a reply given to the hon. Member for East Clare, who put a question on this subject on 26th March, 1888. The promotions referred to in the second paragraph were made by the Lord Lieutenant after a full consideration of the public claims and qualifications of the gentlemen mentioned; and as regards the gentleman referred to in the last paragraph, with but few exceptions—and nearly all of these approaching the age limit when they could retire—those on the list above him had only two years' more service as Resident Magistrates, while he had twenty-two years' previous public service as a Constabulary officer. Successive Governments have laid down the rule, and it has been recognised by almost every Department of the public service, that seniority is only to be taken into account where other claims are equal, and, failing such equality, preference is to be given to merit and capacity.