HC Deb 14 April 1927 vol 205 cc547-8W
Lieut.-Colonel JAMES

asked the Secretary of State for Air whether he is aware that ex-service representatives in his Department were recently informed that security of tenure could not be given to temporary ex-service contract officers, owing to the necessity of absorbing redundant permanent executive officers, and that temporary ex-service officers have since been dismissed and their places taken not by such redundant ex-service officers but by promoted clerical officers; and whether, in accordance with the spirit of the Lytton and Southborough Reports and the declared policy of the Government, steps will be taken to see that efficient ex-service men are not discharged to provide avenues of promotion?


I do not quite know what is the recent statement to which my hon. and gallant Friend refers, but I am afraid I cannot accept the first part of his question as expressing correctly the policy which the Department has adopted. The central feature in this has been that the work of the contracts directorate would be performed by members of the executive class. It is true that in a letter to the Association of Ex-Service Civil Servants of 25th February, 1924 (of which I will send a copy to my hon. and gallant Friend) reference was made to the existence of redundant officers in that grade, but this was as an additional reason for not departing from the approved policy which applies also to the contracts work in the Admiralty and War Office. The reservation of appointments in the contracts directorate for members of the executive class is a point of principle and in no way contingent upon the existence of redundants in that class. I can certainly assure my hon. and gallant Friend that the declared policy of the Government in this matter will be adhered to carefully.

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