HC Deb 19 April 1920 vol 128 cc26-7
37 Captain LOSEBY

asked the Prime Minister (1) if he is aware that there is considerable uneasiness amongst ex-service men employed in the Ministry of Munitions owing to the changes pending; if, in view of the general importance of rehabilitating ex-service men, he can hold out any hope that any considerable portion will be absorbed in the permanent Civil Service;

(2) if he is aware that ex-service men are still experiencing difficulty in obtain- ing rehabilitation, and that throughout the country their position is prejudiced by the fact that men of the same age who did not serve have captured and consolidated the main positions of tactical advantage in the professional world; and if, in view of these difficulties, he will consider the advisability of limiting the present system of competitive examinations for the Civil Service until such time as ex-service men competent to fill these vacant positions have been absorbed?


The uneasiness to which the hon. and gallant Member refers must exist among all temporary staff of the Ministry, whether ex-Service or not. It was made clear, however, to each officer on his engagement that the position to which he was appointed was purely temporary. Whilst the utmost has been done to retain ex-Service men in the Ministry's employment, my right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer cannot hold out any hope that those remaining in the employment of the Ministry can, for that reason alone, be transferred to permanent positions in the Civil Service. The Government is alive to the necessity of assisting in every way possible the rehabilitation of ex-Service men, and special arrangements have been made to increase the employment of such men in Government Departments. Consideration is now being given to the possibility of reserving vacancies in the permanent clerical grades, for a period, for competition among persons serving temporarily in Government Departments, the major portion of such vacancies for men being reserved for candidates who have served with the Forces, provided a sufficient number reach the qualifying standard

Captain LOSEBY

I would like to ask the hon. Gentleman if he is aware that speaking generally ex-Service men hold temporary and low-paid posts in the Civil Service, and that they have the mortification of seeing these permanent and more highly-paid posts in many cases held by men of the same age who did not serve during the War?


Is it not a fact that every man retained in civil employment at home was deemed to be kept at home because he was of more use there than in the Forces?