HC Deb 03 December 1959 vol 614 cc1357-8
16. Mr. Collard

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will accept the possession of a school certificate or a higher certificate as giving exemption from the written examination for entry into the clerical class of the home Civil Service.

Sir E. Boyle

I assume that the hon. Gentleman is referring to the competitions for posts in the clerical class open to candidates between 20 and 39. For these competitions, the Civil Service Commissioners do not consider that examinations taken as far back as 1950 or earlier would provide them with a sufficiently up-to-date measure of the candidate's mental capacity.

Mr. Collard

Is my hon. Friend aware that I have a case of a man who has the school certificate with seven credits and a distinction, and the higher certificate, but who must nevertheless sit for the written examination because he has not got the G.C.E. at O level? Is this not rather unreasonable and discouraging?

Sir E. Boyle

I see the point, but, accepting the fact that some time limit is necessary, I still think that 1951 was reasonable as the earliest date to accept. After all, an examination consisting of three papers of 1½ hours each is not a very strong demand to be made of someone who is applying for a post in which, if he is successful, he will be employed until reaching retirement age.