HC Deb 17 January 1924 vol 169 cc245-6

asked the Minister of Pensions how many clerical employee of the Ministry of Pensions are at present under notice of dismissal; how many of these are ex-service men; how many are war widows; and upon what date the notices expire?


Approximately 667 clerical employés are under actual notice of discharge; of these, 18 are ex-service men who are in receipt of service pensions or are unsuitable for, or have not accepted, transfer; 645 are women, including 12 war widows of comparatively low efficiency who were included amongst 330 women who were under notice for the 31st December last but have been temporarily retained. 317 notices expire on the 18th January; 325 by the 31st January; 17 by the 29th February, and the remaining eight by the 31st March.


In view of the very large number of people in the clerical profession, both male and female, at present unemployed, and in view of a change of policy in the Ministry of Pensions in the next week or two, could not the right hon. Gentleman see his way to postpone the operation of this order?


No, Sir; the ex-service men have pressed for final awards to relieve them from attendance at medical boards. We have greatly simplified the work of the Ministry, and greatly reduced the staff, and I am not prepared to postpone any simplification of the work which we have arranged in the interest of the pensioners.


Is it the policy of the Ministry to replace temporary ex-service men by employés from the permanent Civil Service?


It has been the policy of the Ministry throughout to do our very best for the ex-service men. There is no employment that I know of in the whole country where there is so large a proportion of ex-service men employed. Ninety-seven per cent. of the male staff of the Ministry are ex-service men.