HC Deb 09 January 1913 vol 46 cc1362-3

asked the Prime Minister whether, seeing that the Secretary of State for the Colonies has taken steps to prevent governors and officers in the Crown Colonies and Protectorates accepting directorships from any companies with whom they have had business relations while in the public service, he will say whether he has sanctioned this action of the Secretary of State for the Colonies; and whether he will take steps to secure that this precedent shall be followed in other Departments?


The statement of the Secretary of State has a more limited scope than my hon. Friend attributes to it. It was to prevent any retiring officer from becoming a director or employé of any company operating in the Colony or Protectorate from which he has retired without permission in writing from the governor of such Colony or Protectorate. As I stated on Tuesday last, I quite agree with this step. With regard to the general question, I think it desirable that public servants who have retired from the service should, before accepting such positions, communicate with the Minister of the Department in which they have served; but, as I also stated on Tuesday, the Treasury have no legal right under existing powers to prevent the acceptance of these positions by retired public servants.


Can my right hon. Friend say or ascertain whether the officials of the Board of Trade who transferred their services to the General Omnibus Company first communicated to their chief the fact that they intended to transfer their services?


I would require notice of that, but no such regulation has hitherto been laid down. I am suggesting that it would be desirable.