CEISTEANNA—QUESTIONS. ORAL ANSWERS. - BRITISH EX-SERVICEMEN AS TEMPORARY CLERKS.

asked the Minister for Finance if he will state the number of British ex-servicemen who were serving in the capacity of temporary clerks in the various Departments of the State at the signing of the Treaty on the 6th December, 1921, and on the 31st March, 1927, and the number of these men who entered for the examination held for Clerical Officers in June, 1925, and who did not qualify for various reasons, and, if he will state what the Government proposes to do for these men, seeing that they have given satisfactory service before and subsequent to the signing, of the Treaty, and if the Minister is aware that were it not for the changed conditions of government these men would now be on the permanent staff of the Civil Service.

I have not the information asked for in the first part of the question and it is doubtful if it would be possible to compile it. It is not proposed to make any exceptional arrangement in respect of temporary clerks who are British ex-servicemen.

Is it proposed to make any exceptional arrangements differentiating against British ex-Service men?

It is not.

Arising out of the Minister's reply in regard to his statement that he is unable to answer the first part of my question now, will he be in a position to answer it if I postpone it?

I do not think I could get a return that would be quite complete, but I can get a return containing a good deal of information.

Wall the Minister furnish me with that return?

Yes, if the Deputy wishes.

The Minister did not answer the second part of the Deputy's question. Is the Minister aware that but for the change of government these men would be permanent civil servants?

I am not aware.

Will the Minister make inquiries?

No; we do not intend to make any exceptional arrangements in connection with them.

You take no interest in them.

Will the Minister explain the delay in replying to letters addressed to his department? I addressed a letter in regard to an examination to be held soon and got no reply.

That is a different question.