HC Deb 01 May 1952 vol 499 cc1649-50
27. Lieut.-Colonel Marcus Lipton

asked the President of the Board of Trade how many persons are employed in his Department; and to what extent the number has increased since 1st November last.

Mr. P. Thorneycroft

The Board's staff numbered 8,320 on 1st April, a decrease of 72 since 1st November last.

Lieut.-Colonel Lipton

Is the President aware that this represents a welcome change from the situation which prevailed a little while ago, when he said that the greater the number of cuts which had to be imposed the more the staff of his Department would have to be increased?

Mr. Thorneycroft

I have had to increase the staff to some extent for the purpose of administering the import cuts. If we had not had to have such cuts I should have reduced the staff by over 200. Still, 72 is some contribution to the problem.

Mr. Bottomley

Can the right hon. Gentleman say whether some of the 72 were transferred from the Board of Trade to the Ministry of Materials?

Mr. Thorneycroft

No, Sir. This is a fair figure.

41. Mr. Nabarro

asked the President of the Board of Trade the number of persons employed by his Department, respectively, on 1st May, 1939, 1st November, 1951, and 1st May, 1952, or latest convenient date; what reductions have been made during the last six months as a result of termination of price and other controls for which his Department was responsible; and what further reductions are envisaged in the early future.

Mr. P. Thorneycroft

The staff of the Board of Trade on the nearest dates for which information is available was:

1st April, 1939 4,267
1st November, 1951 8,392
1st April, 1952 8,320
I should, however, point out that any comparison between the pre-war and post-war figures would be misleading since the functions of the Board of Trade have changed considerably over this period.

Although the figure for 1st April, 1952, is only 72 less than for 1st November, in view of the extra work undertaken by the Board of Trade during that period in relation to import licensing and the regional boards for industry, it is equivalent to a saving of over 200.