HC Deb 17 February 1908 vol 184 cc445-6

I beg to ask the Secretary to the Treasury whether he is aware that statistics show that the great majority of boy clerkships fall to boys who have their homes in London or Dublin, on account of the necessity of their living in these cities; and whether he will consider the advisability of not granting these boys the privilege of service marks in all open competitions for the Excise and Customs Departments throughout the United Kingdom, to the detriment and loss of boys from Glasgow and other large towns.


The Secretary to the Treasury sees no sufficient reason for the course suggested by my hon. friend. I understand that of the boy clerks who were successful at the competitions held in May and September, 1907, 61 per cent. had their homes in London and the neighbourhood, or in Dublin. Of the successful candidates in the four competitions held in 1907 for assistantships of Excise and assistant-ships of Customs, sixty-one received service marks, and of these twenty-four only had their homes in London and the suburbs or in Dublin at the time they became boy clerks. Service marks are regarded not as an advantage bestowed on boy clerks over other candidates for public appointment, but as a compensation to those boys for the difficulties under which their studies are carried on owing to the public duties discharged by them.