HC Deb 12 June 1947 vol 438 cc1336-8
52. Mr. Skinnard

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many candidates entered for the Open Reconstruction Competition for the clerical class of the Civil Service in November, 1946, and how many were successful; what were the comparable figures for the limited competition for minor and manipulative grades of the Post Office in December, 1946; and what were the passmarks required for Sections 1 and 3 and Section 2 in each examination.

The Financial Secretary to the Treasury (Mr. Glenvil Hall)

As the answer contains a number of figures, I will, with permission, circulate it in the OFFICIAL REPORT.

Mr. Skinnard

Is my right hon. Friend aware of the discontent among members of the minor and manipulative grades of the Post Office, at what they consider to be unfair discrimination against themselves in these two examinations?

Mr. Glenvil Hall

They should not have that feeling, because they have a chance of entering for the open competition, as well as the restricted competition. We must keep our promise to the ex-Service men who enter for the other one, and who have certain prior rights.

Mr. W. R. Williams

Can my right hon. Friend answer the last part of the Question, about the passmarks?

Mr. Glenvil Hall

The passmarks were: Section 1: Civilian, 400; Service, 355; Section 2: 400 in each case. Section 3: Service, 355. For the limited competition the passmarks are higher, because Service candidates are not entering. The pass-marks are: Section 1: 435. Section 2: 465. Section 3: 435.

Captain John Crowder

Can the right hon. Gentleman tell us the percentage of failures, because my information is that it is over 50 per cent.?

Mr. Glenvil Hall

That is true of the limited competition. The number of candidates entering was 5,645, and only 751 passed.

Mr. James Callaghan

Can my right hon. Friend say whether the number of candidates who present themselves, for the open competition and their quality, are sufficiently good to preserve the standards in the Civil Service?

Mr. Glenvil Hall

An examination is set to give a standard which, we hope, will give us the kind of candidate we want.

Mr. W. R. Williams

In view of the high standard demanded in the Civil Service, will my right hon. Friend discuss this matter further with the Civil Service Commissions, because there is a great deal of dissatisfaction?

Mr. Glenvil Hall

I realise that. These people have the chance of entering for the open competition, as well as the rather harder limited competition.

Mr. W. J. Brown

Is it not the case that the proportion of vacancies in the clerical grade, which are allocated to be filled from various sources of recruitment, is agreed by the National Whitley Council for the Civil Service, which is representative of both sides?

Mr. Glenvil Hall

That is so, and not only by the Whitley Council, but also by this House.

Following is the information:

Number of candidates entered, 7,521. Number successful, 3,826.
Section I. Section II. Section III.
Civilian 400 400
Service 355 400 355

Number of candidates entered 5,645. Number successful, 751.
Section I. Section II. Section III.
Passmark 435 465 435