HC Deb 12 August 1919 vol 119 cc1080-1

asked the Secretary of State for War whether he can state the approximate number of civilians employed in the War Office on the date of the Armistice last year, and the number that were employed on 31st July this year?

Captain GUEST

The numbers are as follow:

Date. Males. Females. Total.
11th Nov., 1918 5,499 12,588 18,087
31st July, 1919 5,401 5,689 11,090
Total decrease 6,997
Of this decrease, 3,163 (1,104 males and 2,059 females) represent transfers from the War Office to the Ministry of Munitions (Supply). The above figures are exclusive of the civilian clerical staffs of the Prisoners of War Information Bureau, the Royal Hospital, Chelsea, and the Royal Army Clothing Department, which at pre sent amount to 454.


May we take it from that that if one Department releases its staff it will be transferred to another Department?

Captain GUEST

No. The total reduction in the War Office is very nearly 7,000, of which about 3,000 have been transferred to the Ministry of Supply, so there is a total net decrease of just about 4,000 in the War Office alone.


Is it a fact that the reductions have been confined exclusively to the lower paid officials, and the higher paid people have not been reduced to any extent?

Captain GUEST

No; I do not think it has been done on those lines at all. It has been done where it could be best afforded in the interest of the Department.

Colonel ASHLEY

Why were these 3,000 civilians unloaded by the War Office on the Ministry of Supply instead of allowing the Ministry of Supply to take on demobilised men?

Captain GUEST

Very naturally the clerks who had been handling the business for many months passed over en bloc to the other Ministry.

Lieut.-Colonel ARCHER-SHEE

Will my hon. and gallant Friend give an assurance that they will be replaced by ex-Service men as soon as possible?

Brigadier-General COCKERILL

Do those figures include the Cable and Postal Censorship staff?

Captain GUEST

I presume so.