HC Deb 17 March 1913 vol 50 c713W

asked the Secretary to the Treasury whether the system of recruiting assistant clerks has failed to attract sufficient candidates on account of the low wages and poor prospects, inasmuch as it has been found necessary to engage temporary clerks through the medium of the Labour Exchanges in certain departments of the Post Office; and, if so, whether steps are being taken to make the class attractive to suitable candidates?


The answer is in the negative. Owing to the exceptionally heavy demands of the public service the number of assistant clerks required in 1912 was nearly double the number required in 1911, which was itself an increase on former years. Though the number of candidates in the last two years has also considerably increased, it was not sufficient in 1912 to meet the above exceptional demands, and recourse had therefore to be made, temporarily, to other sources. The examination for assistant clerks was in all these years a limited competition restricted to boy clerks or ex-boy clerks, and not a competition open to all comers.