HC Deb 09 July 1913 vol 55 cc393-4

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies the number of appointments within the last three years to the post of Governor or Colonial Secretary which have been given to gentlemen who have not entered the Colonial service through the ordinary channel of competitive examination; whether the appointments are due to a lack of officers in the Colonial service who are fit for promotion; and, if not, whether he has any compensation to offer to officers who have entered by examination and who now find themselves, through no fault of their own, superseded by gentlemen from outside who have been imported into the Colonial service?

The SECRETARY of STATE for the COLONIES (Mr. Harcourt)

The hon. Member is under a misapprehension. With the exception of Ceylon, Hong Kong, the Straits Settlements, and Federated Malay States, for which officers are recruited by means of the annual competitive examination for Eastern Cadetships, the Colonial service is not entered by competitive examination. But as a matter of fact, taking the last three years, out of twenty-six appointments to the office of Governor (excluding the military Governments and those of the self-governing Dominions which are in a special category) only two have been conferred upon men who were not already in the Colonial service, and out of nineteen appointments as Colonial Secretary only two were conferred upon officers who had not had long previous service in the Colonies. My desire has always been to establish and maintain an interchangeability between the Colonial and Home Civil Services as exhibited by the appointments of Sir Matthew Nathan to the chairmanship of the Inland Revenue, Sir J. Anderson to the Colonial Office, and Sir Sydney Olivier to the Board of Agriculture.


Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that Lord Selborne, who was only in the Colonial Office, was made Governor of the Cape and Lord High Commissioner of South Africa, at a salary of £12,000 a year?


May we rest assured that those gentlemen who do enter the service through the ordinary channel of competitive examination are not passed over because their number is small and that they have no means of making their grievances known?


I do not think either of those qualifications especially belongs to these gentlemen.

Colonel YATE

Will the right hon. Gentleman take into consideration the question of some compensation to the men who are superseded?

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