HC Deb 06 April 1937 vol 322 cc17-9
59. Mr. Creech Jones

asked the Financial Secretary to the Treasury the policy of the Government in regard to the absorption of ex-service men in the Civil Service in the next few years; whether special attention has been given to the matter recently; and whether any report will be made available to the House?

The Financial Secretary to the Treasury (Lieut.-Colonel Colville)

For many years a large number of posts in the Civil Service have been reserved to ex-service men. Thus in the Post Office 50 per cent. of the appointments as postman and porter are so reserved and in the case of certain other appointments the reservation is 100 per cent. So far as Government Departments generally are concerned, in filling posts for messengers, porters, etc., and posts in industrial establishments for which ex-regulars possess suitable qualifications, first preference is given to duly qualified ex-regular sailors, soldiers and airmen. The whole question has been under recent review, both generally and with particular reference to the anticipated requirements over the next year or two in the matter of civilian personnel, arising out of the rearmament programme, and it is hoped that a substantial number of extra posts will be made available for ex-service men during that period. The answer to the last part of the question is in the negative.

Mr. Creech Jones

In the development of this policy will there be consultations with the organisations of the men concerned?

Lieut.-Colonel Colville

I think my answer to another question on the Paper will throw some light on that matter.

60. Mr. Kelly

asked the Financial Secretary to the Treasury whether, in view of his announcement that the Government hope to place 10,000 ex-service men in the Civil Service during the next two years, he can state the types of posts which will be available for such ex-service men and the method by which they will be filled?

Lieut.-Colonel Colville

The posts which it is hoped to make available for ex-service men during the next two years will, in the main, be similar in character to those which are at present reserved to ex-regulars, or for which a preference is given to ex-service men. They will include, for example, appointments in various grades in the Post Office, appointments as messenger, porter, etc., and posts in industrial and other establishments under the Defence Departments for which ex-service men possess suitable qualifications. The normal method by which vacancies will be filled will be through the machinery of the Employment Exchanges acting in conjunction with the National Association for the Employment of Ex-Regular Soldiers, Sailors and Airmen.

Mr. Bellenger

Will any of these posts be clerical posts?

Lieut.-Colonel Colville

There are certain clerical posts which are occupied by ex-service men, but, in the main, the posts are of the type I have indicated in my answer.