§ 13. Mr. STURROCK
asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he can inform the House why it is considered necessary to maintain a staff of 214 persons, whose salaries amount to £850 a week, in the Reparation Claims Department after all the claims against the £5,000,000 have been settled?
Any possible reduction of the staff is being carefully considered. It must, however, be borne in mind that, apart from the settlement of the few remaining claims against the £5,000,000, and the very considerable correspondence with the claimants with regard to the claims already settled, there is the whole business to be dealt with of the belated claims already exceeding 25,000 in number. This work, which everyone desires to complete as soon as possible, will be delayed by every reduction.
§ Mr. STURROCK
If the money is exhausted and there is only £300,000 to meet those claims, is this staff not somewhat excessive in view of the fact that it is costing £850 a week?
I am not prepared to admit that, it is excessive, because it has to consider a large number of claims Although there is only £300,000 to be distributed, it is necessary to ascertain on each claim what the claimant is entitled to, and whether the damage in fact occurred before arriving at the amount.