HC Deb 14 December 1900 vol 88 cc831-2

I beg to ask the Secretary of State for War whether he will favourably reconsider the cases of assistant clerks and abstractors who had been recommended for advancement to vacant clerkships of the Second Division of the War Office by the principal clerks in charge of their respective branches, and whose recommendations had not been acted upon.


Only so recently as August last six promotions by selection were made from twenty-four eligible clerks of this class to the position of second division clerk. The question of further promotions will be considered.


I beg to ask the First Lord of the Treasury whether the Lords Commissioners of Her Majesty's Treasury have declined to approve of the promotion to the higher division of the Civil Service of second division clerks serving in the War Office on the ground that the men recommended had attained the age of forty years; whether he could hold out any hope of the rule in question being rescinded; and whether their Lordships would reconsider the cases of second division clerks who had already suffered in consequence of the operation of the forty years rule at the War Office.


I am assured that there is no general rule of the service fixing a limit of age above which a clerk of the second division cannot be appointed to the first division. The recommendation in each case is in the discretion of the head of the department when a vacancy occurs. At the same time it must be taken into account that the first consideration is the fitness of candidates for the duties to be done, and it is obvious that as a man advances in middle life he becomes less qualified for the post of junior clerk.