§ MR. FETHERSTONHAUGH
To ask Mr. Chancellor of the Exchequer whether promotion of Excise officers to the posts of chief officers of Customs is regulated by seniority in the service or by other considerations; and if in any recent promotions men of long service and good character have been passed over for men much junior in the service, without any cause being assigned to those disappointed of promotion.
§ (Answered by Mr. Asquith.) I presume that the hon. Member refers to examining officers of Customs and not to "Excise officers." The appointment of examining officers to the post of chief officer is not governed by seniority, but by consideration of the qualification and general fitness of the officer for the duties and position. Regard is had also to age, for the reasons stated by my lion, friend the Financial Secretary to the Treasury in his Answer to the Question of the hon. Member for the Newton Division on 27th February last, † and this necessarily excludes many officers of long service and good character. It is unusual, and I do not think it would be desirable, to inform senior officers who have not been selected of the reasons why they were not considered suitable for the position.