HC Deb 27 February 1919 vol 112 cc1953-5
50 and 51. Major PRESCOTT

asked the Prime Minister (1) if he is aware that for over fifteen months the Civil Service Alliance has been urging the Government to set up a Whitley Council for the Civil Service in order to establish satisfactory relations; between the Government and its servants, and that whilst the Government has been urging upon all employers and employés the desirability of setting up Whitley Councils and committees no such council has been established for the administrative Departments of the Civil Service; and will he state the reasons why the Government have not yet applied the Whitley scheme to the various State Departments; and (2) whether the Interdepartmental Committee which was set up last year to consider the application of a Whitley scheme to the administrative Departments of the Civil Service has submitted its Report to the Treasury; if he is aware that the Civil Service Alliance, comprising seventeen organisations representing the main classes of salaried Civil servants, gave evidence before this Committee in November last; and will he take into consideration the desirability of setting up some kind of a joint conference pending the production of a Whitley scheme in order to remove the discontent amongst Civil servants at the present time?


asked the Prime Minister whether he will take steps to convene a joint conference between employers and employed to discuss the revision of Civil Service salaries and other matters connected therewith?


A Sub-committee of the Interdepartmental Whitley Committee has been considering the application of the recommendations of the Whitley Report to the administrative Departments, and has taken evidence from numerous associations of Civil servants. I understand that this Sub-committee is about to report, but until the proposals contained in its Report have been considered by His Majesty's Government it would be premature to set up a joint conference as suggested.

53. Major PRESCOTT

asked the Prime Minister if he is aware that schemes for the reorganisation of the Civil Service are now being considered, and that reconstruction measures have already been adopted; and whether it is within his knowledge that Civil servants are now placed in the position that whilst they are awaiting the production of a Whitley scheme, which would give them a measure of influence in determining their conditions of employment, the Treasury, without any consultation with the rank and file of the Civil Service, are carrying on the very reconstruction work which a Whitley Council or Joint Conference is alone fitted to do, and conditions are being determined now which will affect the entire Civil Service for years ahead?


I am not aware that any measures of reconstruction have been adopted beyond those recommended in the Reports of Lord Gladstone's Committee on the Recruitment of the Civil Service after the War. It was necessary to give effect to these particular measures, and I do not think that their adoption will prejudice the objects which the institution of Whitley Councils are destined to secure.