§ MR. P. W. WILSON (St. Pancras, S.)
I beg to ask the Secretary to the Treasury whether he can now give any particulars of the proposals of the Treasury with regard to the employment of boy clerks in the Civil Service; and whether he will undertake that in future no appointments of boy clerks will be made in excess of the number which can be 1256 absorbed into the permanent establishment of the Civil Service.
§ MR. HOBHOUSE
It is intended that in future the boy clerks should enter between the ages of fifteen and sixteen, and that they should be discharged on attaining the age of eighteen unless they have been successful in the competition for assistant clerkships, the limits of age for which will in future be seventeen to eighteen instead of nineteen to twenty-one. I cannot undertake that the number of boy clerks employed will not exceed the number for which permanent appointments can be found, though I am making inquiries as to the probable results of the new terms, on the percentage of appointments; but as those unsuccessful in the competitions will not be retained as boy clerks after the age of eighteen they will be in a better position than at present to obtain subsequent employment.