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Government Departments (Publicity Officers)

Volume 155: debated on Monday 19 June 1922

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asked the Postmaster-General whether he has engaged a press officer without reference to the Joint Substitution Board and without inquiry as to whether an ex-service man was available; if so, whether, since such action contravenes the Treasury Circular of September, 1920, and having regard to the available for such a position of highly-qualified disabled officers on the books of the Joint Substitution Board, he will reconsider this matter?

I would refer the hon. and gallant Member to the answer which I gave on the 21st March to a question by the hon. Member for Islington East (Mr. Raper).

asked the Secretary of State for War whether he has temporarily engaged non-service Press officers at the War Office without considering the qualifications and claims of disabled ex-service men with journalistic experience now upon the books of the Joint Substitution Board; and, if so, whether he will reconsider these appointments?

No, Sir; the two gentlemen concerned were appointed in April, 1919, 18 months before the Joint Substitution Board was set up. One of them was over military age, and the other was in medical category C3 and in an exempted occupation. It would not be either in the public interest, or fair to the present holders, who have given excellent service, to dismiss them in order to replace them by ex-service men employed on a similar temporary basis.