HC Deb 10 May 1923 vol 163 cc2592-3W

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether, in view of the extreme difficulty experienced by ex-apprentices discharged from the Royal yards in getting employment at their trade, he will consider the possibility of waiving the age clause which precludes them from competing in Civil Service examinations, as was done in the case of ex-service men, seeing that the ex-dockyard apprentices have already passed a Civil Service examination for entry into His Majesty's dockyards, and have received special scholastic training at the dockyard schools?


I have been asked to reply. I assume the question refers particularly to the Civil Service examinations for posts in the Admiralty service. The Government are pledged to provide for as large a proportion of ex-service men who served as temporary clerks during the War being absorbed in the permanent clerical staff if found suitable after limited competitive examination, and, in this connection, the claims of hired writers and boy writers entered by normal Civil Service examination since the outbreak of war to be retained on the permanent staff unless they are found unsuitable have also to be considered. To introduce a further competitive element for the Departmental clerical class by admitting ex-apprentices to the forthcoming examinations would, in the view of the Admiralty, involve a breach of faith with prospective candidates who have been serving with the prospect of competing for promotion under the prescribed conditions. It is regretted, therefore, that my hon. Friend's suggestion to admit ex-dockyard apprentices to these particular competitions cannot be adopted.