HC Deb 13 March 1934 vol 287 cc183-4

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland the numbers of the staffs employed in the administration of Scottish affairs in Departments for which he is responsible, and the numbers of such staff employed in Scotland and in London, respectively; what permanent heads of such Departments are located in London and Edinburgh, respectively; and whether he has in contemplation any arrangements for the transfer from London to Edinburgh of further administrative work affecting Scotland?


The whole-time staffs of the Administrative Departments for which I am primarily responsible, exclusive of messenger and other minor grade staffs, number 1,659. Of this total 1,542 or 93 per cent. are located in Scotland, and 117 or 7 per cent. in London. The only staffs employed in London are those of the Scottish Office and part of the Scottish Education Department. As regards the second part of the question, the permanent heads of the Departments dealing with agriculture, health, education, fisheries, prisons and mental deficiency and lunacy are located in Edinburgh. The only Department whose head is located in London is the Scottish Office, and I may add that arrangements have been made by which the permanent Under-secretary of State is available at week-ends for the transaction of official business in Scotland. The answer to the last part of the question is in the affirmative. I have made arrangements that a branch of the Scottish Office should be established in Edinburgh at as early a date as possible for the transaction of such business as can be conveniently carried on there, including in particular work connected with local authority administration in its various aspects. I have also in view a further transfer, at the earliest practicable date, of officers of the Scottish Education Department.


Can the right hon. Gentleman tell us if he intends to deprive the House of the benefit of his presence?


On no account.