MR. HERBERT ROBERTS (Denbighshire, W.)
I beg to ask the Secretary of State for India whether his attention has been drawn to the Circular, dated 11th January, 1897, and issued at the instance of Sir James Westland by the Comptroller General of India to his nine subordinates, with reference to the appointment of a number of higher classed clerks, at salaries of 60 rupees and upwards per month, to the Accounts Office; and whether these selections are to be made without the test of examination, and from among Europeans and Eurasians; and whether the reason 1596 assigned by the Finance Minister for such a step is to prevent the offices being filled with Bengalese exclusively?
§ THE SECRETARY OF STATE FOR INDIA (Lord GEORGE HAMILTON, Middlesex, Ealing)
I have not seen the Circular itself, but I have read the reference to it in the Proceedings of the Legislative Council on March 13 and 27, and the Orders of Government therein mentioned. These Orders state that, the appointments being probationary, there is an opportunity to select for the higher posts either graduates or others qualified by their education, or candidates from other branches of the service. It is pointed out that promotion from the lower grades is in no way forbidden, but that "by confining the higher appointments too narrowly to persons who have entered the service in the lower grades, the very classes of natives among whom the best and most competent officers are likely to be found are excluded."