§ MR. ATHERLEY JONES
I beg to ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether the limit of age to which persons are eligible for appointment to the office of Assistant Inspectors of Mines is 35 years, and by what authority such limit exists; whether, if such be the case, the operation of the Rule has been to exclude from eligibility for such office a very large number of working miners who have sent in applications to be appointed; and whether he will consider the expediency of procuring a modification of such Rule in the interests of working miners?
§ MR. ASQUITH
The limits of age for candidates for the appointment of Inspector of Coal Mines were fixed at 23 to 35 in October, 1873, by Mr. Lowe, who was then Home Secretary; and in 1887, after the passing of the Coal Mines Regulation Act of that year in which the appointment of Assistant Inspector is recognised, the same limits of age were fixed for their appointment by my predecessor, with the concurrence of the Treasury and the Civil Service Commissioners under the power of the Order in Council of June 4, 1870. No doubt a good many working miners, and other candidates as well, have been ineligible for nomination to compete for this appointment in consequence of being over 35. The number of candidates, working miners and others, within that limit is, however, very large, and as at present advised I do not see any sufficient ground for modifying the conditions. I shall be glad to consider any representations from miners and other persons interested in the question.