HC Deb 27 November 1906 vol 165 cc1439-40
MR. CLAUDE HAY (Shoreditch, Hoxton)

I beg to ask the Secretary to the Treasury whether he is aware that the Controller of Stamps especially recommended Mr. Clark of his Department (an officer of twenty-seven years Revenue service) as the fittest person for promotion to a principal clerkship therein, rather than Mr. Johnson, of the Department of the Secretaries of Inland Revenue (an officer of only twenty-two years Revenue service), by reason especially of the fact that, among his other qualifications, the former had a full knowledge of the technical and general business of the Controller's Department, whereas the latter was absolutely wanting in such knowledge; will he say why the Controller's recommendation was disregarded by the Commissioners of Inland Revenue; whether other circumstances in relation to Mr. Johnson have been brought under the notice of the Chairman of the Board of Inland Revenue as pointing to the unlikelihood of that gentleman's translation being an influence for good in the Department of the Controller of Stamps; whether he will make further inquiries and satisfy himself that the action of the Commissioners of Inland Revenue in this particular case is just towards Mr. Clark, who was strongly recommended by the Controller of Stamps; and whether, in all the circumstances, he has satisfied himself that the course taken is calculated to be of real benefit to the public service.


I am aware that the Controller of Stamps recommended Mr. Clark, but as I stated in reply to the hon. Member a few days ago, Mr. Johnson was selected by the Inland Revenue Commissioners as being in their opinion the officer best qualified for the appointment. Seniority is not the main consideration, but I may point out that Mr. Johnson has been in the public service a year longer than the officer who was recommended by the Controller as the best qualified among those serving in his Department. The Answers to the third and fourth parts of the Question are in the negative and to the fifth part in the affirmative.


Is it not the fact that the Controller of Stamps had an interview with Sir Henry Primrose and protested strongly against the appointment of Mr. Johnson? Is the translation of Mr. Johnson to the office an advantage to the public service?


The Answer to both Questions is in the affirmative.