CEISTEANNA—QUESTIONS. ORAL ANSWERS. - TEMPORARY CLERICAL OFFICERS.

asked the Minister for Finance if he will state why certain classes of temporary clerical officers and ex-temporary officers have been debarred from entering for the forthcoming Clerical Officers Examination to be held in May next, and if this decision has not caused serious disaffection amongst all temporary clerical officers in the Government service, and if he will state what are the intentions of the Government as regards the treatment of these temporary officers, and what the Government proposes to do for them.

The forthcoming examination in May has been confined to persons who entered for, but were prevented by illness or other sufficient cause from competing in, the examination held in June and July, 1925, and to ex-members of the National Forces. I am not aware that disaffection has been caused amongst the temporary staff.

Is the Minister aware that others besides ex-members of the National Forces entered for this examination previously and would he give the Dáil the reason why they are debarred from going up now?

This is a special concession to ex-members of the National Army.

As against ex-members of the British Army?

As against everyone else except people who were prevented from sitting by illness.

Is the Minister aware that in some offices temporary civil servants were not allowed to join the National Army by the heads of their departments because their services were indispensable?

People like that could have passed the examination in June, 1925. The standard of the examination was low and people whose services were so valuable that they could not be spared could have passed the examination easily, if they wished.

Is the Minister aware that the principal reason why they did not pass was that the standard of Irish was so high?

I am not aware, and I am certain it is not so.

May I ask my question now?

That is a separate question, and the Minister must get notice.

Mr. BYRNE

I wrote a letter to the Department and got no reply with regard to an examination.

The Deputy is asking a question regarding the Civil Service Commission. It would have to be put down separately to the Minister.

Mr. BYRNE

The Minister's department refused to answer my letter.

Say "omitted."

Mr. BYRNE

It is very discourteous for the Minister to sneer now. I ask for courtesy. I wrote to the Department and got no reply.