HC Deb 18 June 1895 vol 34 cc1373-5

I beg to ask the Secretary to the Treasury whether he will ascertain from the heads of the various Departments how many Second Division Clerks now in the service have been recommended for promotion to the First Division; and whether, having regard to several previous assurances given in the House of Commons that the Treasury are willing to promote to the First Division, he will take steps to bring this about in the aforenamed cases before any further appointments are made from outside?


Since the second Report of the Ridley Commission, 15 Second Division Clerks have been recommended by heads of Departments for appointment to fill vacancies in the Upper Division of their respective departments. In every case the Treasury has given its sanction. Any assurance given on the part of the Government has thus been fully carried out, and there is no intention of changing the existing practice.

MR. R. W. HANBURY (Preston)

asked whether the hon. Gentleman found that all the Departments were agreed in carrying out that recommendation without exception?


said that, as far as he knew, the matter was fairly considered. Of course, he could not say off-hand whether every Department did so, but he knew that the recommendations had been fairly carried out.

MR. W. R. BOUSFIELD (Hackney, N.)

I beg to ask the Under Secretary of State for the Colonies—(1) if he will explain why it is considered necessary to maintain in the Colonial Office so large a a proportion of First Division clerks of the highest grade recruited solely by open competition: (2) whether any promotions of Second Division clerks to the First Division have been made in the Department under the Order in Council of 12th February 1876; and, if not, whether there have been no clerks in the Second Division worthy of such promotion; and (3) whether he will consider the propriety of introducing into the Department the class of officers known as the New Higher Division of the Play-fair Scheme, to which the most deserving of the Second Division clerks might be promoted?


The Royal Commissioners on Civil Establishments, in the 12th paragraph of their second Report, say:— There are Departments, such as the Treasury, the offices of the Secretary of State, and some of the other principal offices, in which it is clearly necessary to have a larger proportion than in others of men of more liberal culture, in order to discharge satisfactorily the consultative and deliberative work of those offices. Since 1870, when open competition was introduced, the business of the Colonial Office has doubled, whilst the number of clerks of the higher establishment has been reduced from 23 to 21. With reference to the second part of the question, I must refer the hon. Member to the lengthy and exhaustive answer given by me in reply to a similar question in this House on December 5, 1893. The facts remain as there stated, with the exception that in the meantime another Second Division clerk has been promoted to one of the special posts then referred to. The Secretary of State is not prepared to recommend the creation of an additional class of clerks in the Colonial Office.

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