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Civil Service—Competitive Examination—Clerkships In The Home Department—Question

Volume 203: debated on Thursday 14 July 1870

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said, he would beg to ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, If he will state the reasons why he has adopted a course different to the majority of his Colleagues, and has recommended that first appointments to clerkships in the office over which he presides should not be obtained by open competition?

Sir, the number of clerks to which the Question of the hon. Gentleman refers is about 20, so that on an average, less than one vacancy occurs every year. My reasons were practically the same as those which influenced Lord Clarendon in arriving at a similar conclusion. No inconsiderable portion of the duties required from the clerks being of a confidential nature, requiring some guarantee of personal honour and trustworthiness, as well as of the intellectual attainments secured by the competitive examination, I did not think myself justified in relieving myself from the responsibility of making a personal selection of the candidates for examination.