HC Deb 27 November 1946 vol 430 cc1585-6
10. Earl Winterton

asked the Secretary of State for Air the number of personnel employed in the Meteorological Office; and the number so employed on 2nd September, 1939.

Mr. de Freitas

In the office itself there were 371 on 1st November, 1946, and 208 on 2nd September, 1939. The total strength of the service was 3,018 and 862 on these dates.

Earl Winterton

In view of the fact that most unfair attacks have been made on the personnel of this office for their failure to predict the bad weather last summer, will the Minister make it clear that in the opinion of His Majesty's Government the calamitous weather last year, including the sunspots, was entirely due to 25 years of Tory misgovernment?

Mr. de Freitas

I am glad the noble Lord has raised that point because there is, unfortunately, a tendency to confuse weather forecasting with weather control, and I am giving away no Cabinet secrets by saying that, whatever the present Government do, they are not going to attempt to control the British weather.