HC Deb 12 August 1947 vol 441 cc2235-6
8. Mr. Swingler

asked the Secretary of State for War what progress has been made by the Manpower Economy Committee in his Department; what recommendations he has received; and what action he has taken.

Mr. Bellenger

This committee has held several meetings and instituted a number of investigations, which will necessarily take a little time. Action will be considered in the light of the results.

Mr. Swingler

Will the Secretary of State say when the report will be available, and whether the recommendations of the committee will be reported to this House, so that we shall know what kind of inquiry is being made, and whether the committee are working with a real sense of urgency?

Mr. Bellenger

I do not think there is any doubt that they are working with a real sense of urgency, but it will be a long-term inquiry rather than a short-term one. We are asking for some sort of interim report as soon as possible.

Mr. Chetwynd

Will my right hon. Friend undertake to announce the result of the work of this committee regularly, say, at three-monthly intervals?

Mr. Bellenger

As soon as I have anything of substance. I shall be glad to do that.

Mr. Granville Sharp

How many hours per week is this committee working? Will the Secretary of State stress that it is most important, in view of the fact that he has the job of economising in the use of manpower in the Service, that this committee should make urgent recommendations, and that he should take urgent action to implement those recommendations?

Mr. Bellenger

No, Sir. Short-term economies are a matter for me. For the long-term economies, I want the advice of the committee, and it will take some time before they can report.