HC Deb 02 March 1948 vol 448 cc181-2
7. Captain John Crowder

asked the Minister of National Insurance if he is aware that temporary clerks employed by approved societies are being informed that, in the event of their being offered an appointment with his Ministry, it is unlikely that the post will be in the town in which they are at present employed; and, having regard to the shortage of accommodation in the provinces, if he will ensure that those clerks living in London will be offered employment in or near London.

Mr. J. Griffiths

Posts for these temporary clerks must necessarily be limited by the number of vacancies, and are being found wherever possible in the towns in which they live, or some other place of their choice. Where this is not possible, they are offered posts elsewhere.

Captain Crowder

Will the Minister give special consideration to clerks living with their families in Greater London, because he will appreciate that it is very expensive for them to move their households to a provincial town, and also that it is very difficult to obtain accommodation in such a town?

Mr. Griffiths

We are very anxious to do all we can, but I am sure the hon. and gallant Gentleman, and the House, will realise that one of the difficulties confronting us is that the administration of existing schemes is very much more centralised than will be the administration of the new scheme. Therefore the staffs will be much more widely dispersed. We are conscious of the fact that it is our duty, and we are trying to carry it out. We are very anxious to fit them in as near to their homes as possible.

Mr. Wingfield Digby

In view of the importance of the personal element in the work of these offices, will the Minister give an assurance that, as far as possible, he will send West country people to the West country, and so on.

Mr. Griffiths

We shall do our best, but it is a very difficult problem owing to the highly centralised location of the existing staffs. We are doing our best to fit people in where they can be of service.

Captain Crowder

Would the Minister be able to give extra allowances to people who have families working in other jobs in London, and who, because of this, would have to keep up two establishments if they were employed in the provinces?

Mr. Griffiths

That is another question.

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