§ Sir WILLIAM BULL
asked the Postmaster-General if he is aware that, of the postmasterships carrying salaries of £525 a year or over, about 64 per cent. are filled by the surveyors, ex-assistant surveyors, or officers from the London headquarters or clerical staffs (a body not representing nearly as many hundreds as the other body, from which only 36 per cent. of the appointments are made, and which represents thousands); will he also say whether postmasters and other provincial officers are eligible for appointment to assistant surveyorships or surveyorships if they have never formed part of the survey branch and, if not, will he explain why not?
§ Mr. HERBERT SAMUEL
Since 1st January, 1907, thirty-four appointments have been made to postmasterships, with salaries of £525 a year or more. Twelve of these appointments have been filled by members of the surveying or London headquarters staff, and twenty-two by other officers. The percentages are thus 35 and 65, or almost the reverse of those stated by the hon. Member. Postmasterships, however, are filled not on any principle of allotment by percentage between the classes of officers eligible, but by selection from the candidates in each case of that one whose appointment is considered by me to be most desirable in the public interest, in recent years, because the officers in ques-or other provincial officer might be regarded as eligible for appointment to a surveyorship or assistant-surveyorship, but such appointments have rarely been made in recent years, because the officers in question do not as a rule possess the requisite experience and qualifications.