HC Deb 02 June 1919 vol 116 cc1673-4
52. Sir H. CRAIK

asked the Prime Minister if, in order to make the best use in the public interest of the services of those experienced members of the Civil Service who were temporarily transferred to other offices during the exigencies of the War or who served in His Majesty's Forces, and also to give a safeguard against any arbitrary exercise of personal patronage while the usual conditions of entry into the Civil Service by competition continue to be suspended, he will appoint a Committee, on which this House will be represented, to review the lists of those eligible for appointment?

Mr. BALDWIN (Joint Financial Secretary to the Treasury)

I am sending my right hon. Friend copies of the Treasury Circulars of 29th January, 26th February, and14th March last, from which he will see that steps have already been taken to secure that posts in the new Departments and in new branches of old Departments shall be filled by permanent Civil servants (including those specifically referred to in the question) who have proved themselves fit for promotion to posts superior in status and emoluments to their substantive posts in the service. I am satisfied that the arrangements under the Treasury Circulars in question will provide a satisfactory and impartial method of testing the abilities of the various candidates, and I am accordingly not prepared to adopt my right hon. Friend's suggestion. I might add that as regards appointments made by the open competitive selection system, the arbitrary exercise of personal patronage is excluded by a warning which forms a part of the various Regulations that "any attempt on the part of a candidate to enlist support for his application through Members of Parliament or other influential persons will disqualify him for appointment."


May I ask if those inquiries conducted in the Treasury will relate to the higher appointments, or are confined to those appointments under a certain amount per year?


I will endeavour to find out for my hon. Friend.


Can the hon. Gentleman say how far the disqualifications to which he has alluded will affect a number of persons who have been appointed without examination during the War period?


It is obviously impossible to answer that without notice.

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