HC Deb 12 December 1950 vol 482 cc971-2
33. Mr. Keeling

asked the Secretary of State for War the reason for the increase of 577 in the civil staff of his Department during the three months ended 30th September last.

Mr. Strachey

Five hundred and forty-five out of the extra 577 were employed in Record Offices on checking the addresses and occupations of Class "Z" Reservists.

Mr. Keeling

Is the Minister aware that he now has a larger civilian staff than any other non-revenue-collecting Government Department except the Ministry of National Insurance, and will he try to reduce the staff within the next quarter, instead of increasing it?

Mr. Strachey

I think the particular purpose for which these 577 extra staff were employed was one of great urgency, which was pressed from all sides of the House.

Mr. A. R. W. Low

Will the right hon. Gentleman remember that he told the House, in July last, I think, that this job was nearly completed, and will he say why, if that was so, he still needed 570 extra men at the end of October?

Mr. Strachey

No, Sir. This particular phase of this job will be completed by 1st January, which is what I said. It was the end of September, not October.