§ Mr. S. H. BUTCHER
asked the Undersecretary of State for India whether he will lay upon the Table the Report of the inquiry held in March, 1908, on the working of the regulations for appointments in the Indian Forestry Service during the preceding three years; whether it has been shown that the present temporary regulation which admits to a course at Oxford as probationers candidates of inferior qualifications at a lower limit of age than the age prescribed for fully qualified candidates tends to exclude candidates from other universities; whether a Return can be prepared of the probationers selected in the last three years showing their qualifications at the time of admission; and whether he can hold out any prospect that the appointments in the Indian Forestry Service of probationers shall soon be opened by competitive examination to members of all British universities?
§ The UNDER-SECRETARY of STATE for INDIA (Mr. Montagu)
The Report is still under consideration, and its presentation is not desirable until the Secretary of State has considered the views of the Government of India on the recommendations it contains. With reference to the second part of the question, the present regulations for the appointment of probationers to the Indian Forest Service give a preference to candidates who have obtained a degree with honours in Natural Science at any University in Great Britain or Ireland, and admit candidates of inferior qualifications only if there are not enough qualified candidates with such a degree. The Secretary of State will grant the Return suggested if the hon. Member will move for it. With regard to the last part of the question, the Secretary of State is unable to make any statement until he has considered the views of the Government of India.
§ Mr. S. H. BUTCHER
May I ask the hon. Gentleman whether he can mention any definite time within which the Report referred to in the first part of the question will be laid on the Table? It is two years since the Report was made.
§ Mr. MONTAGU
There will be no avoidable delay, but communications with India do take a long time. The Report is now under consideration.