HC Deb 19 May 1915 vol 71 cc2337-8
98. Mr. R. McNEILL

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether the Civil Service Commissioners have since the outbreak of war employed Herr Müller and Herr Haltenhoff as examiners in German; whether either of these gentlemen is a naturalised British subject, and, if so, what is the date of his naturalisation; what fee was paid to these aliens for their work as examiners; and whether it was impossible to find British scholars with a sufficient knowledge of German to act as examiners in that subject?


I am informed that Mr. Müller and Mr. Haltenhoff have been employed by the Civil Service Commissioners as occasional examiners since the outbreak of the War. So far as they are aware, neither of these gentlemen is a naturalised British subject. Mr. Haltenhoff has been paid £29 4s. and Mr. Müller £9 9s. since the outbreak of the War. For testing a candidate's ability to speak a language it is the Commissioners' experience that better results are obtained by the employment of examiners who speak the language as their mother-tongue.


Is the hon. Gentleman aware that at these very same examinations the examiners in French were Englishmen, and will he explain why in the other case it was necessary to employ alien enemies?


It is rather more common to find Englishmen who speak French fluently than it is to find Englishmen who speak German fluently. [HON. MEMBERS: "No."] But I will convey the hon. Member's views to the Civil Service Commissioners. I do not gather, however, that any employment is being given to these gentlemen at the present time.


Is the hon. Gentleman not aware that at the present time there are Belgium people in this country out of work who are thoroughly conversant with German?


That is rather a good idea.