§ Mr. RHYS DAVIES
asked the Financial Secretary to the Treasury whether he is aware that the Civil. Service is practically closed to persons who have been articled to firms of accountants and who, at the age of 21 or thereabouts, have passed their final examinations to qualify in that profession outside the Civil Service; and whether he can make arrangements to allow such persons to compete in Civil Service examinations for Government posts as accountants and auditors on equal terms with members of the Civil Service staffs?
§ Mr. HORE-BELISHA:
Vacancies in the Civil Service for which it is con- 831W sidered desirable to require candidates to have obtained professional accountancy qualifications at the time of candidature are ordinarily open to civil servants and outside candidates alike. In other cases candidates are recruited for accounting duties direct from the normal Civil Service open competitive examinations and where necessary subsequently acquire professional qualifications during their service. These competitions are open to all candidates at the prescribed age limits, and I see no reason for extending these limits in favour of persons who article themselves to firms of outside accountants. I would add, for the information of the hon. Member, that persons who have qualified as accountants are eligible to compete for commissions in the Accountant Branch of the Royal Air Force if they are between the ages of 22 and 26 years.