As this matter is one of considerable general interest I should like, with your permission, Mr. Speaker, and by leave of the House, to inform the House that a White Paper will be available to hon. Members to-morrow, containing a report on this subject from the Civil Service National Whitley Council, prefaced by a general statement by the Government concerning both recruitment and other related matters affecting the Civil Service. I would only add that it is the Government's intention that an early opportunity should be given to the House to discuss the proposals in the report. The Government, for their part, accept the recommendations, and will wish to invite the House to support them in that view.
Before final decisions are taken on the report, will the right hon. Gentleman take account of the widespread desire which exists in this House that the fullest possible preference shall be given to ex-Service men and women in filling these vacancies in the Civil Service?
Yes. Sir, I can readily give that assurance, and, as I have said, there will be no final decisions until the whole matter has been fully discussed in this House.