HC Deb 07 June 1945 vol 411 cc1066-7
53. General Sir George Jeffreys

asked the Minister of Agriculture whether he is aware that instructions have been issued to the staffs of county war agricultural executive committees to the effect that they must not appear on any political platform or take part in any overt political activity or propaganda whilst in the employment of the committee; and whether, in view of the fact that the majority of such staffs only hold temporary appointments and that many of them are normally accustomed to take an active part in the political life of their districts, he will arrange for an immediate relaxation of this restriction.

Mr. Hudson

The answer to the first part of the question is "Yes," and the second part "No." Although the staffs of the county war agricultural executive committees are not technically civil servants, they are appointed by my agents for the purpose of carrying out the Government's policy in regard to war-time food production, and their salaries are provided direct from public funds. They must, therefore, be subject to the same rules as civil servants in regard to their political activities; these rules apply to both permanent and temporary civil servants.

Sir G. Jeffreys

Will my right hon. Friend make sure that legally he has power to enforce these instructions, in view of the fact that these are neither permanent nor temporary civil servants, and no undertaking was required of them that they would comply with such conditions when they first took on their job?

Mr. Hudson

I will look into that question. I assume we would not have issued instructions without justification.

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