§ 66. Mr. HARRY LAWSON
asked if the right hon. Gentleman can state how many 26 applications were received from members of the Customs outdoor branch of the Customs and Excise service for positions under the National Insurance Act; how many appointments have been made from such applications, and the salaries attaching thereto; how many applications have been made from the Excise outdoor branch of the Customs and Excise service, and how many appointments have been made from such applications and the salaries attaching thereto; if no appointments have been made from the Customs outdoor branch of the amalgamated service, if he will state whether there has been found one qualified candidate from this branch; and, in view of the influence which the present Selection Committee is exercising, if he will personally look into the qualifications of the applicants from the Customs branch?
§ Mr. MASTERMAN
The number of applications received from members of the Customs outdoor branch for appointment to the outdoor staff of the English Commission was 310, and from the Excise Outdoor Branch, 609. Sixty officers of the amalgamated service were selected for interview by the Committee of Selection, and out of these seven have been appointed as inspectors and seven as assistant inspectors, respectively. All the officers so appointed belonged to the Excise branch prior to amalgamation; one officer belonging to the Customs branch has been placed on a reserve list, in the event of further vacancies occurring for transferred Civil servants. I do not propose to look into the qualifications of any applicants personally or to interfere in any way with the discretion of the Committee of Selection, and I would remind the hon. Member that that committee is solely concerned to find the best men available for the work that is required of them and not to distribute appointments, equally or otherwise, among the various Government Departments.