HC Deb 16 February 1920 vol 125 c564W

asked the Secretary to the Treasury whether he is aware that in the last examination for junior appointments in the Civil Service under the Competitive Selection (Reconstruction) Scheme, nearly 1,000 Civil Servants competed; that of the twenty-nine appointments subsequently made eighteen were commissioned officers and eleven were below that rank; whether he is aware that several of the officers appointed were very low in the list of qualified candidates; that the first nine places were all awarded to officers; and whether he will say what steps were taken to ensure that the appointments should be made in strict accordance with individual merit?


At the competitive selection for junior appointments in the Civil Service which took place on the 25th November last and following days, 259 competitors attended for interview before the Selection Board, of whom twenty-nine were declared successful. Of these twenty-nine, seventeen held commissioned rank. The examination which preceded the competition was a qualifying, not a competitive, examination, and, although the Selection Board took into account "any specially distinguished work done in the qualifying examination," the Board would not otherwise take note of the number of marks obtained by a candidate in that examination. It is the duty of the Selection Board to arrange the candidates in order according to their judgment of the comparative merit of the individual competitors; there is no doubt that the Board performed this duty impartially and to the best of their ability. Military record and recommendations from persons having first-hand knowledge of the work of candidates in any capacity are taken into account by the Selection Board. The candidates' record and work in His Majesty's Forces comprise their life and activities during the last few years; and, apart from the actual military record, it is reasonable to suppose that the personal qualities which gained a candidate promotion in His Majesty's Forces are observed and taken into account by the Selection Board at the interview.