§ MR. LAIDLAW (Renfrewshire, E.)
To ask the Secretary to the Treasury whether his attention has been called to the fact that the Civil Service Commissioners give a preference by moans of service marks to boy clerks who have served in other departments in what are advertised as open competitions for assistantships of Excise and Customs; whether he is aware that this is a preference to London boys, who constitute the great majority of boy clerks, and a corresponding handicap to the provinces and whether he will see that in future 442 competitions absolute equality is given to boys in all parts of the United Kingdom.
§ (Answered by Mr. Runciman.) The Answer to the first part of the Question is in the affirmative. I think there are good reasons for the preference given to boy clerks by the system referred to, and these reasons are not invalidated by the fact that service in the capacity of boy clerk is naturally more attractive to those who reside in or near London than the boys from the provinces.