§ Mr. HARRY LAWSON
asked the Secretary to the Treasury whether the sixty candidates from the Customs and Excise service interviewed by the Committee of Selection for positions under the National Insurance Act were selected by a Customs and Excise department committee; if so, will he state how many members of that committee belonged to the Excise and how many to the Customs service before 818W the amalgamation; whether the senior official on the committee belonged to the Customs or Excise before the amalgamation; how many of the sixty candidates interviewed belonged to the Customs branch and how many to the Excise branch of the amalgamated service; whether he is aware that dissatisfaction has been created in the Customs branch by the result of the selection; and if he is aware that there is in the Customs service a belief that Excise candidates were unduly favoured and that some of the best qualified Customs candidates were not sent to the Insurance Commission to be interviewed?
§ Mr. MASTERMAN
The Board of Customs and Excise, in compliance with the wishes of the Insurance Commissioners, forwarded a list of those members of the Customs and Excise Department whom, they considered best qualified for appointment to posts on the outdoor staff of the Commissioners. The responsibility for that list rested with the Board. I understand that of the sixty-three men invited to be interviewed by the Selection Committee appointed by the Insurance Commission and the Civil Service Commission twenty-four belonged to the former Customs branch of the amalgamated service and thirty-four to the former Excise branch, but they did not all accept the invitation. As regards the last part of the question, I can only say that if there is such a belief as the hon. Member suggests it is entirely without foundation.