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Publicity Officers, War Office

Volume 155: debated on Tuesday 27 June 1922

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asked the Secretary of State for War what are the names of the two non-service Press officers in his Department; whether he is aware that the reasons previously advanced for their retention, namely, that one was over age and the other medically unfit, are not admissible under the Lytton Report; that if they were employed on a permanent basis their substitution would not be possible; whether representations have been made to him that a disabled officer with the requisite qualifications and experience is available for this work; and whether, in view of the Government's repeated pledges to give priority of employment to qualified ex-service men, he will now reconsider this matter?

These officers, Messrs. Caird and Ridgway, are being retained in the public interest in accordance with the discretion recognised as necessary in paragraph 9 of the Third Report of the Lytton Committee. I am not aware that any disabled officer possesses in the same degree the requisite qualifications for this work, for which the experience acquired by the present holders in the course of the discharge of their duties is very necessary. In all the circumstances I do not consider it would be in the public interest to reconsider the matter.