§ 73. Lieut.-Colonel PARRY
asked what are the temporary circumstances which make it necessary to maintain a temporary staff of 2,007 at the Air Ministry; 1236 what is the annual cost of this staff; and when it is anticipated that the need for their services will cease?
§ Mr. CHURCHILL
The figure for this permanent staff corresponding, for the same date, i.e., 1st May, to 2,007 was 757, but it is of course not contemplated, and would not be possible, to reduce the Air Ministry staff to this latter figure, as is apparently suggested in the last part of the question. The reasons why so large a portion of the total staff are at the present time on a temporary basis are as follows:—
(1) The Departments of Civil Aviation, Supply and Research and Works and Buildings have been advisedly engaged on a temporary footing in the first instance. As the eventual requirements and commitments of the Ministry become better defined, the numbers will be reviewed and where necessary reduced.
(2) Messengers, labourers, cleaners and some other similar categories are normally engaged on a temporary basis in all Government Departments.
(3) The Air Ministry is a new Department, and progress in obtaining permanent staff must needs be gradual.
The annual cost of the total temporary staff is about £540,000. The number of the temporary staff is being progressively reduced both by replacement by permanent staff and by discharge without replacement.