§ Mr. G. JONES
asked the First Commissioner of Works whether his attention has been called to the proposed appointment of four men, named Milne, Goodison, Clouting, and Robb, as assistant architects in the ancient monuments branch of the Office of Works; whether he is aware that neither Milne nor Goodison is an ex-service man; that Milne left the Government service voluntarily in 1919 to take up an appointment with the Anglo-Persian Oil Company; that applications were not invited from the unestablished staff for these posts, and that Milne, if appointed, will receive £500 per annum, and thereby be in a better position than many who were his senior and have given continuous service; whether any of these four men have special qualifications for the posts and, if so, what they are; whether he is aware of the grave dissatisfaction existing in the Department in question about the appointments recently made in the Department; and whether he will inquire into the cause of such dissatisfaction and meantime suspend the proposed appointments?
§ Sir J. BAIRD
I have already given very careful consideration to this question, and am satisfied that the four officers referred to are the best qualified for the highly specialised work, and that their appointment is in the best interests of the Department. Three of the appointments have already been made, and I regret that I am unable to suspend the appointments as suggested. Of the total professional, administrative and clerical male staff of the Department at the present time, 75 per cent. have served with the Army, Navy or Air Force.