asked the Minister of Supply whether he is aware that Mr. R. J. Excell, of 47, Hadley Way, Lambeth, London, N.21, now a temporary civil servant in his Department, employed at Euston House, Eversholt Street, Euston, is going to America on Ministry business; and, in view of the fact that he is an undischarged bankrupt, is he satisfied that Mr. Excell is a fit and proper person to carry out commissions on behalf of His Majesty's Government?
It is not at present proposed to send this officer to America.
Has the Minister changed his opinion since this Question was put upon the Paper?
No, Sir; as it happens, my opinion has not been changed.
Is it desirable that a gentleman in this condition should remain in a position of responsibility?
I hope that my hon. Friend will excuse me from going into details on this subject. I would point out that there are occasions when there is nothing personally discreditable about such a position. It is unfair to discuss these questions further.
Since when have undischarged bankrupts not been allowed to assist their country in the way for which they are best fitted?
Is the Minister aware that judgment was given against this man in December, that he was made a bankrupt in January, and that he obtained his passport in March to go to America and had permission to sail on 6th May? Does the right hon. Gentleman think that this type of individual should represent this country overseas?
The purpose for which it was proposed to send someone to America was a purely departmental one. In my judgment there has been nothing at all in the history of this case that should discredit this individual from performing that particular function; but it so happens that, apart from the merits of the individual, it has been possible to clear the situation for the present and to make it unnecessary to send anyone.
Would the Minister be willing to receive further information from me concerning this man's history?