HC Deb 19 December 1944 vol 406 cc1617-8
48. Miss Ward

asked the Prime Minister whether, in view of the present policy of the Government regarding the powers of the head of the Civil Service, he will issue a further circular bringing up to date those of 1919 and 1920.

The Prime Minister

No, Sir. The 1919 and 1920 Circulars still hold good. Following a Debate in another place, a full Government statement on the position was made there on 25th November, 1942. There is no need for a new Circular to the Service, where the arrangements are well understood by those whose duty it is to work them.

Mr. W. J. Brown

Is it not anomalous that the headship of the Civil Service should rest in the person of the Permanent Secretary to the Treasury, and would it not be more appropriate that it should rest with a properly constituted Civil Service Commission?

The Prime Minister

I have nothing to add to the statement which I have made, which was to the effect that the Government adhere to the Circulars sent out in 1919 and in 1920.

Miss Ward

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that, in another place, a very sharp distinction was drawn between the head of the Foreign Office and the head of the Civil Service, and would he be good enough to place those two Circulars in the Library of the House?

The Prime Minister

There is, no doubt, a distinction to be drawn between the two offices which my hon. Friend has mentioned. They are obvious and well known distinctions. As to the two Circulars, I will certainly arrange for them to be placed in the tearoom or wherever it is desired.