§ Colonel IVOR PHILIPPS
asked the Postmaster-General how many candidates there were for the recent vacant post-mastership of South Molton from the group in which that officer is situated with more service than the officer promoted; what special circumstances necessitated the appointment of an officer outside the group, thus departing from the recognised rule that postmasterships of less than £200 should be filled by officers within the group; how many similar appointments in this same group have been filled by officers from other groups during the past three years; and how it is proposed to compensate candidates in the group referred to for the loss of the postmastership of South Molton and others?
§ Mr. HOBHOUSE
There were thitry-two candidates for the vacant postmaster-ship of South Molton from the group in which that office is situated who had longer service than the officer selected for the appointment. Although it is the practice to fill "group" appointments from candidates employed at offices within the "group," regard must be paid to the interests of the service as a whole, and since the inception of the "group" system three other outside appointments have been made to vacancies arising in the group in which South Molton is included, and one officer from that group has been selected for an outside appointment.