asked the President of the Board of Trade the number of permanent civil servants promoted in the Patent Office since the end of the War; how many of the men promoted were ex-service men and how many non-service men; in how many cases were non-service men promoted over the heads of senior ex-service men; and whether he can assure the House that in all the promotions made regard was had to the Government's pledge that civil servants should not be prejudiced by service with the colours?
The number of permanent civil servants promoted in the Patent Office since the Armistice is 79. Of these, 60 were non-service men, including 25 over military age, and 19 were ex-service men. In 16 cases non-service men were promoted over the heads of ex-service men, and in nearly all cases the ex-service men were promoted over the heads of non-service men. The substantial number of promotions is due to the fact that promotions in the Patent Office were suspended during hostilties in order that the claims of ex-service men and men who had served in other Departments during hostilties might receive adequate consideration. I am able to give the assurance referred to in the last part of the question.