18. Lieut-Commander Clark Hutchison
asked the Minister of National Insurance if he is aware that two ex-Service men employed as temporary clerks in the Central Pensions Branch, Grassmarket, Edinburgh, who have been successful in the written examination for establishment and have been interviewed by the Selection Board, are having their services terminated as from 24th November on grounds of redundancy; and whether he will suspend the discharge of these men until such time as Parliament has had an opportunity of debating the whole question of the discharge of ex-Service temporary clerks under the provisions of Treasury Circular No. 14/45.
§ The Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of National Insurance (Mr. Steele)
The chances of these officers in the competition, the results of which will not be available for some time, are in no way prejudiced. They are being dealt with under special provisions in a national agreement governing the establishment of temporary officers, and their retention out of turn would be a breach of the national agreement on redundancy.
Can the Minister say if the head of the Department was consulted before notice of discharge was given to these men, and whether account has been taken of their professional abilities?
§ Mr. Steele
As I have indicated in answer to previous Questions on this matter, the question of discharge of redundant staff is governed by a national agreement to which both sides are parties.
In view of the unsatisfactory nature of the answer, I wish to give notice that I shall endeavour to raise this matter on the Adjournment.