Motion made, and Question proposed,
That a Supplementary sum, not exceeding £24,000, be granted to Her Majesty, to defray the charge which will come in course of payment during the year ending on the 31st day of March, 1952, for the salaries and expenses of the War Damage Commission.9.0 p.m.
§ 9.0 p.m.
§ The Financial Secretary to the Treasury (Mr. John Boyd-Carpenter)
The only reason it is necessary to come to the Committee and ask for this Supplementary Estimate is the need to make further provision for the salaries of the staff of the Commission. There are two types of salary which together have contributed to the need to ask for this Supplementary Estimate. For the technical staff of the Commission, the Gardiner Report involves an advance to those in that category, and the normal increase in Civil Service rates, which was announced by my right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer a little time ago, affects the administrative staff. It is necessary to ask for this additional sum in order to make good the salary increases.
§ Mr. Douglas Jay (Battersea, North)
We can well understand that salary rates in this case have been rising as they have in many other cases, and on account of that an extra sum is necessary, but can the Financial Secretary tell us whether it has been possible to make a reduction in the number of the staff? My memory of this matter is that this is one Department where, mercifully, activities are running down, and I should have thought it possible to achieve a saving of staff, taking into account the Commission's relationship with the Central Land Board.
§ Mr. Boyd-Carpenter
Some reductions have been made and others are being made, which, of course, will not affect the provision in the current financial year. I should say that we would have had to ask for this increase for salaries even after those reductions have been made. The number of men affected in the reduction of staff will appear in the main Estimates for the forthcoming year.
§ Question put, and agreed to.
That a Supplementary sum, not exceeding £24,000, be granted to Her Majesty, to defray the charge which will come in course of payment during the year ending on the 31st day of March, 1952, for the salaries and expenses of the War Damage Commission.