HC Deb 16 February 1922 vol 150 cc1183-4
70. Colonel BURN

asked the Secretary of State for Air whether he is aware that the personal assistant to the Director-General of Supply and Research is a non-service man and that the duties normally discharged by this officer were within the past year efficiently performed by an ex-service man for a period of several weeks; and what action is being taken to have the case of this non-service man reviewed by a properly-constituted substitution board in the light of the developments in the position of Government employment during the past 12 months?

The SECRETARY of STATE for AIR (Captain Guest)

The private secretary to the Director-General of Supply and Research is, strictly speaking, a non-service man, but the Air Ministry Substitution Committee (on which the ex-service staff was represented), having regard to the circumstances of his case, agreed to regard him as an ex-service man. The Committee was constituted under paragraph 8 of the First Report of the Lytton Committee.

71. Colonel BURN

asked the Secretary of State for Air how many non-service personnel in his Department who were recommended for substitution by the substitution committee are still protected by the plea of indispensability; on what grounds the refusal to substitute these officials is based in each case; and what efforts have been made to find qualified ex-service substitutes?

Captain GUEST

As the result of a deputation which I received on this subject, I reviewed individually and with great care the 14 eases of all those non-ex-service members of the Department who were being held as indispensable either temporarily or permanently. As a result, notice of discharge was given to five of those in question. In the case of those of the remainder who come within the category stated in the first part of my hon. and gallant Friend's question, I exercised my discretion under paragraph 9 of the Third Report of the Lytton Committee. The reason in each case was the paramount necessities of the Department in existing circumstances. I have already given instructions that these appointments shall be reviewed from time to time with a view either to their termination or to substitution, if it should be found, that qualified ex-service substitutes are available.

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