§ 44. Mr. Wakefield
asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Works and Planning the number of officers in his Department engaged in the supervision of the collection of railings and scrap metal throughout the country and the mileage they travel by car each month in the discharge of these duties?
§ The Joint Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Works and Planning (Mr. Hicks)
The staff of the Directorate of Demolition and Recovery, which is directly responsible in my Department for the collection of railings and scrap metal, numbers 332 and travels on the average 131,000 miles by car each month in the discharge of these duties. This represents an average of less than 100 miles a week for each officer. Part-time assistance is given on this work by other staff of my Department, but without extensive 1138 analysis it is not possible to give any precise figures.
§ Mr. Wakefield
While thanking my hon. Friend for his reply, may I draw his attention to the fact that a large number of dumps of scrap metal are still available in the country, and also that there are many town railings not yet collected? Does he realise that many of his officers are wasting a great deal of petrol unnecessarily in driving around the country?
Is it not a fact that you can sometimes see three men working on tiny little railings in places like Plymouth, while you will find tons of railings still in the devastated areas?
§ 64. Mr. Wakefield
asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Works and Planning the duties of Mrs. Giles, an officer in the North-west Region of his Department; and her qualifications for the appointment she holds?
§ Mr. Hicks
Mrs. Giles is employed in connection with the recovery of railings scheduled for removal by various local authorities in the North-West Civil Defence Region. She checks the local authorities' schedules as a preliminary to the letting of contracts, ensures that the contractors furnish the weights of railings removed and transfers these weights to the schedules, and she investigates complaints and appeals. Her qualifications are those of all similar staff engaged on this work, namely, tact and common sense and the ability to write clear reports and to interview local authority officials, contractors and the public.
§ Mr. Wakefield
While thanking the hon. Gentleman for his reply, might I ask whether he realises that those very qualifications which he specifies as being necessary seem to be conspicuous by their absence in the case of this individual and others?
Is it not true that one man would see her good qualities and another man her bad qualities?