HC Deb 09 January 1913 vol 46 c1366

asked whether Dr. Johnson has been appointed to the office of principal civil medical officer of the Colony of Hong Kong and given thereby seniority over Dr. Bell, who has acted upon four occasions for long periods as principal civil medical officer to the satisfaction of the whole Colony; and, if so, why has Dr. Bell, who is senior to Dr. Johnson in the Colonial service, been passed over; and will his pension be thereby considerably less than it would have been had he been given an appointment to which he has reasonably felt himself entitled after his many years of efficient service?


Yes, Sir. The recent vacancy in the headship of the Medical Department of Hong Kong was not filled up by promotion in the Colony because the Governor did not recommend that course. Seniority by itself gives no claim to such a post, nor does the fact that an officer has acted in the post. Pensions in Hong Kong, as elsewhere, depend upon the length of an officer's service and the amount of salary he is receiving at the time he quits the service.


May I ask the right hon. Gentleman to give some further consideration to a very deserving Colonial officer who has been severely superseded at a time when his career is drawing towards an end?


I do not say anything in the nature of criticism, but I think it very undesirable that this House should discuss the personal merits as between two or three candidates for a post. Of course, I have considered very carefully the merits of the different candidates for the post, and have come to my decision accordingly.