§ MR. FIELD
To ask the Secretary to the Treasury whether seeing that in the Exchequer and Audit Department Mr. Nicholls passed over Mr. Pearson for promotion, that subsequently Mr. Pearson passed over Mr. Nicholls for promotion, that this system of promotion by special selection was a usual thing in the Audit Office for many years past, and caused discontent leading up to the recent reorganisation of that Department, that since this recent reorganisation one of the examiners of the old class, who was asked to retire on pension, was subsequently promoted, that the present principal clerk of the Colonial Audit Branch was promoted over the heads of seven senior and equally efficient officers, that two chief examiners were promoted over the heads of throe senior and equally efficient officers, that two examiners were promoted over the heads of four or five senior and equally efficient officers, that one examiner was promoted to £200 per annum over the heads of nine senior and equally efficient officers, and that certain officials are now selected for future promotions irrespective of the claims of senior and equally efficient officers, he will explain how such a system is in the interests of the public service; and, seeing that such a system of promotion by special selection lends itself to favouritism, will he explain why seniority and equality of efficiency are not the standards adopted for promotion in this Department.
(Answered by Mr. Runciman.) I have no reason to suppose that the system 435 of promotion in the Exchequer and Audit Department is different from that adopted in other public Departments. The question as to the relative efficiency of the members of their staff must be left to the judgment of heads of Departments.
§ MR. FIELD
To ask the Secretary to the Treasury whether three clerks in the Colonial Audit Branch, who never passed Civil Service examinations for their positions, and who were on a scale of salary £70—£5—£100, precisely the same as the Second Division scale, were, with less than six years' service in I the case of one, and with less than two years' service in the case of the other two, promoted to be examiners with £100 per annum, as from 1st July, 1906; and, if so, will he say why such clerks, will he say why such clerks were thus promoted before the completion of the necessary eight years which a Second Division clerk has to serve before he can be promoted to the similar position of examiner.
(Answered by Mr. Runciman.) I beg to refer the hon. Member to my reply on the same subject of the 6th instant, † to which I have nothing to add.
§ MR. FIELD
To ask the Secretary to the Treasury whether seeing that Messrs. Walker, A. W. Brown, Nimmo (temp.), Hall, Gemmell, Hudson, W. H. Sheppard, H. S. Brown, Thompson, Blunden, Marr (temp.), Chalmers (temp.), and Webb (temp.), who were appointed as Second Division clerks 3rd July, 1901, 15th July, 1901, 29th July, 1901, 8th August, 1901, 15th October, 1901, 10th December, 1901,1st March, 1902, 26th March, 1902, 26th April, 1902, 28th April, 1902, 8th July, 1902 5th August, 1902, and 17th November, 1902, respectively, were returned to the Civil Service Commission as being redundant on the recent reorganisation of the Exchequer and Audit Department, that Messrs. Collisson and H. St. J. Sheppard (temp.), who were appointed as Second Division clerks on lath November, 1901, and 19th July, 1902, respectively, were retained in the Colonial Audit Branch; that Messrs. Eyles and M'Fadden, who were appointed as Second Division clerks on 1st April, 1902, and 7th April, 1902, respectively, were retained in the Exchequer and Audit Department; that the Treasury† See (4) Debates, clxxix., 1810–1.436 Minute of August, 1896, lays down that a reduction in the Second Division staff of a Department makes redundant those of its members most recently appointed to the division, not to the Department, and it is their names which should be furnished to the Civil Service Commissioners for the purpose of effecting transfers, he will explain how the retention of Messrs. Collisson, H. St. J. Sheppard (temp.), Eyles, and M'Fadden, who had less service than many of those returned to the Commission, did not contravene the Treasury Minute of August 1896.
(Answered by Mr. Runciman.) The four clerks referred to were specially selected to fill vacancies on the new establishment, and the Treasury Minute referred to does not apply to such cases.