HC Deb 03 March 1947 vol 434 c33
59. Mr. Osborne

asked the Minister of Agriculture, why it is necessary to employ an administrative and clerical staff costing £280,000 per annum to manage the W.L.A., which now numbers only 30,000, when in June, 1945, the W.L.A. numbered 65,000 and cost only £280,000 to administer; and if he will cut down the redundant staff and reduce this expenditure of public money.

Mr. T. Williams

The size of the administrative staff and the expenditure of the W.L.A. cannot be varied in any direct ratio to the number of members. In 1946. apart from the large volume of work connected with the official release scheme, the organisation had to handle a recruiting campaign which produced over 12,000 new members. The number of staff has in fact been reduced, and the increase in expenditure is due partly to a rise in scales of pay and partly to the replacement of voluntary workers by paid staff. I can assure the hon. Member that every economy consistent with the requirements of the work will be made.

Mr. Osborne

Can the right hon. Gentleman explain why it is that under a Socialist Government it takes twice as much to do a job as under a National Government?

Mr. Williams

Nobody has ever noticed that.