§ Sir WILLIAM BULL
asked the Secretary to the Treasury whether candidates so low down on the list in the examinations for second division clerks held in 1911 and 1912 are capable of performing with satisfaction work ordinarily performed by clerks of the second division; whether he is aware that the practice of taking on candidates who take such low places tends to lower the standard of the body of second division clerks; and will he say what steps will be taken to ensure that the number of candidates taken on should more nearly approximate to the number of vacancies advertised?
§ Mr. MASTERMAN
The marks obtained out of the same maximum by the lowest appointed candidate at the last five competitions for second division clerkships have been in each case approximately two-thirds, so that there does not seem to be any ground for supposing that the standard of the whole body of clerks is being lowered. Nor is there any reason for thinking that the candidates appointed at the last two examinations are likely to be incapable of satisfactorily performing the duties of second division clerks. The number of vacancies depends on circumstances which the Civil Service Commissioners cannot control or foresee, and no1954W attempt is made or could be made in advertising vacancies to arrive at an exact estimate. The competition invariably attracts a very large number of qualified candidates.
§ Mr. JOWETT
asked whether the promotion to the secretaryship of Inland Revenue, vice Mr. Atterbury, will involve a vacancy in the higher division; if so, whether it is proposed to promote a second division clerk to the higher division?
The answer to the first part of the question is in the affirmative. As regards the second part, the Commissioners of Inland Revenue will certainly consider whether it would be advantageous to the public service to depart, in favour of some officer already in their employ, from the normal practice of filling higher division vacancies by open competition at the Class I, examination.