HC Deb 23 February 1914 vol 58 cc1413-4W

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will state in whom is vested the power of appointing the Public Works Loans Board; who appoints the secretary to the Board; if an appointment has been made to fill the vacancy of secretary, and, if so, who has been appointed and what were his qualifications for the post; if there were other candidates for the post, how many; if there was no official on the administrative staff capable of filling the post; if he will explain why the post of assistant secretary to the Board, which was abolished in 1897, has been revived, and by whom has it been filled; if the person appointed to this post is related to any members or late members of the Board or officials of the Board; and if he was a member of the Civil Service, when did he enter and in what capacity?


The Public Works Loan Commissioners are appointed by a special Act of Parliament. The latest of such Acts was the Public Works Loans Act, 1910, which appointed the gentlemen named therein for a period of five years from 1st April, 1911. Similar Acts have been passed quinquennially since the date of the Public Works Loans Act, 1875, by which the Public Works Loan Board was first constituted in its present form. The appointment of Secretary to the Boards vests in the Commissioners under the Act last quoted, and they have recently filled a vacancy in the post by the promotion thereto of the chief clerk, Mr. G. A. Calder, the official on the administrative staff of the office next in rank to the secretary. His service with the Board dates back to 1876, when he entered as a lower division clerk. The post of Assistant-Secretary to the Board has not been revived as a separate post, but the title of the post of the chief clerk has been altered to "Assistant Secretary and Chief Clerk" without change in the scale of salary. This has been done in order that there might be an officer authorised in the Secretary's absence to perform any act which is required to be performed by the Secretary under the terms of the Regulations issued under the Act of 1875 already quoted. This post, rendered vacant by Mr. Calder's promotion to be Secretary, has been filled, with Treasury approval, by the promotion of Mr. H. G. H. Barnes, previously Chief Clerk to the Board's Solicitor and himself a qualified solicitor. I am informed that Mr. Barnes, who is a son of a former Solicitor to the Board who died in 1900, entered the service of Chief Clerk to the Board's present Solicitor in 1910, and that he is unrelated to any present or past Member of the Board or any official of the Board.