58. Lieutenant-Colonel Sir F. HALL
asked the Prime Minister if he will state whether the Lord Chancellor has appointed Mr. O. R. A. Simpkin to be Public Trustee; if he will state what was the previous occupation of Mr. Simpkin and what are considered his special qualifications for filling a post for which business experience and capacity are required; whether the claims and qualifications of existing members of the permanent staff were considered for the post, and, if so, on what grounds these were passed over; and whether it is advisable that the appointment to such an important post should be left in the hands of any one Minister, without reference to the Treasury or other qualified Department?
§ Mr. BALDWIN
Mr. O. R. A. Simpkin is a barrister practising on the Chancery side. He has been employed throughout the War in the War Trade Intelligence Department, where he has given proof of great business capacity, and has had very large business experience. The claims and qualifications of existing members of the permanent staff were considered before the appointment was made. It would be invidious in the case of gentlemen in their position to state the grounds upon which it was considered that Mr. Simpkin would prove a more suitable holder of the post. The appointment was made after consultation with the Treasury and after an exhaustive consideration of the qualifications of all persons, whether in the public service or outside it, who could be considered as possible candidates for the appointment.
Sir F. HALL
May I ask my hon. Friend whether in the office of the Public Trustee, where such excellent work has been done, we are to understand there is no man qualified to take up this position?