§ Sir JOHN BETHELL
asked the Secretary to the Treasury if the superior officials in Civil Service departments are forbidden to exert influence on subordinates for the purpose of obtaining votes for candidates seeking election to quasi-departmental offices of emolument; and has the Treasury given official sanction to the action of a committee clerk (to the Board of Customs and Excise) who is issuing circulars asking support for one of the present Commissioners of Customs and Excise to secure his election as a director of the Customs Annuity and Benevolent Fund?
§ Mr. HOBHOUSE:
I understand that the question refers to the following matter. A member of the Customs Annuity and Benevolent Fund, who happens to be a committee clerk in the secretaries' office, has circularised his fellow members with a view to secure the re-election of a director who has held office for many years, and who is retiring from the public service at the end of this month. It is open to any member to circularise his fellow members in the same way. No doubt other members are doing so on behalf of other candidates, and nothing appears to have been done which is contrary to the rules of the service.