HC Deb 28 March 1946 vol 421 cc569-70
60. Sir T. Moore

asked the Minister of Labour how many shorthand typists have been released from compulsory duty in the fighting and civil Services; and how many still remain.

Mr. Isaacs

At 1st January, 1946, the number of shorthand typists in Government Departments was 15,127. The other information required by the Question is not available without special inquiries involving a disproportionate expenditure of time.

Sir T. Moore

In view of the many complaints that we have heard about the difficulty of getting letters answered speedily, and in view of the heavy demands that are constantly made by the civil population for these young women, can the right hon. Gentleman not agree that it is essential to get these figures out so that the public can understand all that is happening, because they do not at present?

Mr. Isaacs

The difficulty is that we know those who describe themselves as shorthand typists, but there are others who come under several other headings. There are copy typists and there are those who describe themselves merely as clerical workers. To go through a list of all those who may have some remote connection with clerical work, in order to pick out the actual shorthand typists, would involve the use of an unreasonable amount of time.

Mr. W. J. Brown

Can the Minister say when he will make such questions as this unnecessary by lifting the Civil Service (Control of Employment) Order?

Mr. Isaacs

I am afraid I could not say.