§ 57. Mr. T. KENNEDY
asked the Financial Secretary to the Treasury if temporary civil servants who served during the War as pilots in the Royal Air Force and were engaged in action against invading enemy aircraft are classified as home-service men; whether they are included in the first category for dismissal on reduction of staff; and if he is now prepared to regard these men as being at least on an equal footing with men who served overseas in a non-combatant capacity?
§ Mr. McNEILL
Members of the Royal Air Force who, while attached to an operative unit, were engaged as pilots on defensive duties in this country during the War, are regarded by the Joint Substitution Board of the Treasury and Ministry of Labour as overseas ex-service men, for the purpose of the preference accorded to such men as regards appointment to, and retention in, temporary posts in the Civil Service.
§ 58 and 59. Mr. T. KENNEDY
asked the Financial Secretary to the Treasury (1) whether, in the selection of male temporary clerks for dismissal, the main consideration of Government Departments is the former military rank of the individuals concerned; and, if so, whether this procedure can be modified, so that the relative efficiency of the 29 individual clerks shall be the first consideration, allowance being made in cases of severe war disability;
(2) if he is aware that efficient ex-service temporary clerks with heavy domestic responsibilities are being dismissed from various Government Departments, while unmarried temporary clerks of lower efficiency, and with no dependants, are being retained by the same Departments; and if he is prepared to take steps to retain the services of efficient ex-service men with dependent relatives in preference to those who have no domestic responsibilities?
§ Mr. McNEILL
When it is necessary owing to reduction of work to discharge redundant temporary clerks, the order of discharge followed is that laid down in the First Report of the Lytton Committee on the Employment of Ex-Service Men in the Civil Service) that is to say, disabled ex-service men are retained in preference to those who are not disabled, and non-disabled men with service overseas in preference to non-disabled men with home service only, subject always to Considerations of efficiency, and to the discretion of the head of the Department to vary the order of discharge in cases of hardship. The question of military rank does not arise. The arrangements made in accordance with the recommendations of the Lytton Report provide for the representation of the views of the staff affected to the Department concerned, and I am not aware of any respect in which it is desirable that the existing procedure should be modified.
§ Mr. McNEILL
Yes, if the hon. Member will refer to what I have said about hardships, he will see that that matter conies in.