HC Deb 23 July 1924 vol 176 cc1299-300

asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Admiralty whether his attention has been called to the position of foremen of works clerks who were not allowed to compete in the recent examination for Departmental clerical class appointments at the Admiralty, and particularly in regard to the case of ex-service men who have been discharged as a result of wounds received in the Great War, and seeing that the Admiralty decided that these men were not to be allowed to compete in the aforementioned examination, upon the ground that, although they are styled clerks, they are an industrial class, although previous to the assimilation the most efficient of foremen of the works clerks were considered for the post of accountant clerk as vacancies occurred, and although there are men now serving as established clerks at the Admiralty and in Devon-port who were foremen of works clerks; and, seeing that these men are in receipt of 12 days' annual leave and of 10 weeks' sick leave during the year, and that for Whitley Council purposes they are on the administrative side, and that they perform work which is definitely clerical, such as accountancy and the keeping of wages books, if he can see his way to allow such men to take the forthcoming examination in October, presuming that there is to be one in the autumn?


The eligibilty of foremen of works clerks for any examination which may be held in the future for ex-service men under the terms of the South-Borough Report, will depend on the scope of the regulations laid down for Government Departments generally. Foremen of works clerks would not be regarded as eligible to compete if the examination is limited to temporary clerks in the Civil Service, as in the case of previous similar examinations. The factors to which the hon. Member refers do not determine eligibility for examination purposes, and I might mention that the allowance of annual leave to foremen of works clerks who are, and will probably continue to be, retained on an industrial basis is less than that for temporary clerks in the Civil Service generally, and the 10 weeks' sick leave granted them during a year is also given to other industrial classes who are not employed wholly on industrial duties.


Is the hon Gentleman aware that in answer to previous question he said these men were disqualified from taking the examination because they were considered as industrials, and why, if that is so, are they considered administrative officers in all other respects?


If the hon. and gallant Gentleman will compare the answer I have just given with the answer to which he refers, he will see that there is no contradiction.

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