HC Deb 28 July 1893 vol 15 cc750-1
MR. MACDONALD (Tower Hamlets, Bow)

I beg to ask the Secretary to the Treasury whether, in view of the fact that the Treasury Minute of 24th March, 1891, which relates to the administration of the Customs Outdoor Department under clause headed Departmental Examinations, states that it refers not to competitive literary examinations, such as men of a certain age and position could not he expected to undergo, but to examinations strictly limited to tests applied by a committee of superior officers to the practical merits of candidates for promotion; and having regard to the fact that in the two examinations held under this Minute, one-third at the first examination and one-fourth at the second, of the first-class places offered were reserved for those officers who obtained the highest number of marks, he will state in what part of the Minute referred to this introduction of competition is ordered or sanctioned?


No examination for appointments where the number of candidates exceeded the number of vacancies could be otherwise than in a sense competitive. Complete discretion was given by the Treasury Minute of March 24, 1891, to the Commissioners of Customs as regards the details of the examinations referred to (which are in practical subjects only) and the degree of preference to be shown to superior merit. The Commissioners have, in my judgment, carried out fully the intention of the Minute.


I shall call attention to this matter on the Estimates.