§ DR. MACNAMARA
I beg to ask the Secretary to the Treasury under what Order in Council, or other authority, the grant of over £13,000 has been made to the Accountant-General of the Navy for temporary clerical assistants; what were the circumstances advanced to move the Treasury to approve of this arrangement; what safeguards, if any, have been introduced to ensure that the persons employed are properly qualified and adequately paid, and that the money is being spent on its legitimate purpose; and also, whether he will consider the advisableness of withdrawing the covering sanction of the Treasury, and restoring the clerical staff arrangements of the Department of the Accountant-General of the Navy to open competition in accordance with the Order in Council of June 4th, 1870, Clause II.
§ THE FINANCIAL SECRETARY TO THE TREASURY (Mr. McKENNA,) Monmouthshire, N.
As was explained to my hon. friend on the 8th instant,† no new principle is involved in extending to the Department of the Accountant-General of the Navy the system which has been for some years in operation in the Supply Departments of the Admiralty, whereby hired (non-pensionable) assistants are engaged to perform subordinate clerical duties. The scheme, which is based on the principle of retaining in the service only those who prove efficient, is understood to be working well in practice and to provide adequate remuneration for these hired accountant clerks. The legitimate expenditure of this money is secured by the audit of the Comptroller and Auditor-General. I see no reason to go back on the arrangement.