HC Deb 29 June 1920 vol 131 cc253-4
66. Mr. ATKEY

asked the Minister of Food if he will state the amount of salary paid to the District Commissioner at Nottingham; the nature of his duties; the number of staff employed; the amount of their salaries; how long it is proposed to maintain this establishment; whether he is aware that the continued occupation of premises requisitioned from the International University Society, in Westminster Buildings, Nottingham, is causing great inconvenience to that business; and will he give instructions to the District Commissioner to remove to the alternative premises which have been offered to him?


The Divisional Food Commissioner receives a salary of £900 per annum. His duties consist of the general supervision of the distribution and prices of foodstuffs in his division and the administration of the Statutory Orders issued by the Food Controller. The number of staff employed at present is 66, at an annual cost of about £16,000. It is necessary to maintain a divisional staff so long as sugar rationing and statutory control in the case of particular commodities are continued. I would point out that the reorganisation of regional administration, which takes effect on the 30th of this month, will result in the work hitherto done by 1,848 local food control committees being done by about 490 local food offices and in a reduction in staff by 3,400. In the case of the North Midlands division, of which Nottingham is the headquarters, the regional staff will be reduced by more than half on the 30th June. This reorganisation places an additional burden for the time being on divisional headquarters, but a considerable reduction of this staff will be effected by the end of the year. The question of accommodation is one for His Majesty's Office of Works, but I am communicating with that Department as regards the representations made by the hon. Member, with a view to ascertaining if alternative accommodation could be found for the Divisional Commissioner.


Will the right hon. Gentleman say how his Majesty's Office of Works controls the situation; and will he direct that Office to remove these gentlemen to alternative premises?


I have no power to issue a mandatory injunction to the Office of Works, whose duty it is, not mine, to provide the premises in question; but I am in communication with them upon the question.


Could not the right hon. Gentleman appoint a Director to the Office of Works?