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Public Appointments (Selection)

Volume 463: debated on Tuesday 29 March 1949

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47.

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether the recent letter from the Treasury to the Bank of England asking for the names of persons in the City willing to be considered for appointments in socialised industries was sent with his approval.

53.

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he authorised the letter which was sent recently by the Treasury to various institutions in the City, asking for names to be given of any young men who might be willing to serve on Royal Commissions, committees or public boards; what is the list of institutions to which this letter was sent; what methods of selection are used to decide what are suitable institutions to which to send such letters or to ensure the suitability of the names submitted; how many replies have been received; and what is the number of names put forward.

The request to which these Questions refer was one for names of persons thought suitable (not of persons willing to be considered) for important public work of all kinds, including service on advisory committees and the like, and had no particular reference to socialised industries. The arrangements for improving His Majesty's Government's lists of such persons—of which this request was a part—are necessarily of an informal and confidential nature, but I can assure the House that they have my entire approval.

Will the Chancellor say whether he expects that this appeal, which was circulated through the City by the Bank of England, will be successful in rescuing these organisations, which certainly included the socialised industries, from their difficulties about directing and advisory staff?

There is no question about it being successful for any such purpose. It has long been the custom to keep a list of such persons at the Treasury and from time to time it is necessary to renew it.

In view of the overwhelming importance to the Government of men being chosen for public posts entirely on merit and suitability for the job which is vacant at the time, would the Chancellor give consideration to the adoption of some selection procedure which is clearly recognised and which is most likely to throw up the most suitable man when the occasion demands?

The way in which people are selected for different posts differs according to the post. The responsible Minister is responsible for the selection.