HC Deb 07 December 1939 vol 355 cc835-6W
Mr. Hopkin

asked the Financial Secretary to the Treasury whether he can now make a statement regarding the holding of examinations for the recruitment of personnel for the Civil Service; and what reply he proposes to give to the proposals made by the staff side of the National Whitley Council?

Captain Crookshank

I regret that, in view of the general and practical difficulties, I can hold out no hope in present conditions of the resumption of competitive examinations for entry to the Civil Service. The staff side of the National Whitley Council have been so informed; but I understand that they intend to make certain further proposals, which will be considered.

Mr. George Hall

asked the Financial Secretary to the Treasury whether he has given further consideration to the position of candidates who sat at the first part of the competitions for officers of customs and excise, and for assistant inspectors of taxes in the Inland Revenue Department and third-class officers in the Ministry of Labour, but were then told that these competitions could not be completed; and whether he will make a statement?

Captain Crookshank

Yes, Sir. I am glad to have this opportunity of making a statement. As the hon. Member is aware, the competitions referred to fall into two parts, a written examination and a viva voce test held at a later date. Written examinations were held during the summer of this year but in consequence of the outbreak of war it was not possible to complete the competitions. I have, however, decided that tables of results of the written examinations shall be circulated to candidates, and this will be done within the next few days. Candidates will be informed that the Civil Service Commissioners are unable to indicate when, or under what conditions, any further steps in connection with the competition will be possible but that, whilst no undertaking can be given, it is intended that, after the conclusion of hostilities, the position will be considered, in the light of the circumstances then obtaining, of those candidates whose place in order of merit would have entitled them to be summoned for the viva voce part of the competition. I would point out that the proportion of candidates who have reached this standard is rather less than 25 per cent. of the total number of candidates. I would stress, in conclusion, that this special measure does not affect the general decision to suspend Civil Service examinations during the war period.

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