HC Deb 01 May 1900 vol 82 cc425-6
MR. CALDWELL (Lanarkshire, Mid)

I beg to ask the First Lord of the Treasury if his attention has been called to a series of letters of a political character which have lately appeared in The Times newspaper under the signature of W. J. Courthope, who is the permanent head of the Civil Service Commission, and whether it is in accordance with the rules and practice of the Civil Service for officers in such a position to take part in public controversies of a political character.


The Treasury Minutes respecting the acts of Civil servants in regard to political matters do not expressly forbid writing letters to the public press. They do, however, unquestionably suggest that reserve in political discussion which is one of the main causes of confidence in the impartial administration of the public service. I am strongly of opinion that the Treasury Minutes should be observed by public servants not merely in the letter but in the spirit.