HC Deb 07 November 1939 vol 353 cc26-8
51. Sir Ralph Glyn

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what were the duties and terms of reference of the staffs committee set up in the last war to supervise and report on the staffing of Government Departments; and whether it is intended to follow this precedent which was favour-abry reported on by the Haldane Commission?

Sir J. Simon

I will, with my hon. Friend's permission, circulate in the OFFICIAL REPORT the terms of reference of the committee referred to. Effect was given to the main recommendations of the committee in the matter of staff control and the resulting changes have become a permanent feature of the organisation of the public service. Establishment branches now exist in all the larger Departments and in consultation with the Establishments Department of the Treasury they keep staffs under constant review, as was also advocated by the Haldane Committee. I would also remind my hon. Friend of my statement in the House on 28th September last, when I mentioned my intention to institute special inquiries in particular Departments where necessary, calling in the help of experienced men of business to act in conjunction with officials of the Treasury and representatives of the Department concerned.

Following are the terms of reference:

The Committee on Staffs was appointed under Treasury Minute of the 13th February, 1917, to inquire into the numbers and organisation of the clerical staffs employed in the new Ministries created and in other Departments in which large additions to the staff engaged had been made since the beginning of the war, the method of recruitment and the rates of remuneration, and to report what measures should in their opinion be taken to secure better co-ordination in respect both to recruitment and organisation, to effect economies in numbers and cost, and to prevent overlapping.

58. Mr. Lyons

asked the Financial Secretary to the Treasury whether his attention has been called to the delay in fixing the salaries of several persons upon their appointment to positions in new Ministries; whether he can state the reasons for such delay; and whether, in the public interest, an order can be issued that no such appointments should be made without the emoluments being fixed at the time of appointment?

The Financial Secretary to the Treasury (Captain Crookshank)

My hon. and learned Friend will appreciate that in the extreme pressure of the early days of the war it was at times necessary to invite persons to accept appointments in new Departments before the precise emoluments attaching thereto had been fixed, although the broad basis of payment had been agreed between the Treasury and the Department concerned. Cases also arose in which, although the salary of the post had been fixed, it was not, for similar reasons, always possible to communicate it to a person who had agreed in peace time to hold himself available for a post of such character in the event of war. I have no reason to think that any serious difficulties will arise in future in regard to this matter.

Mr. Lyons

Can the Financial Secretary say whether in relation to the appointments which are now taking place they will be at a fixed salary, and whether in the case of those persons who have been appointed not at a fixed salary, fixing will take place forthwith?

Captain Crookshank

As regards the future, as I have said, I have no reason to think that there will be any serious difficulty. I think the fixing has been done.

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