HC Deb 17 November 1952 vol 507 c1392
42. Mr. Renton

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs what steps he has taken during 1952, and what steps he will be taking in 1953, in order to reduce substantially the administration costs of his Department.

Mr. Nutting

The staffs of the Foreign Office and Foreign Service have been reduced by 186 and 422, respectively, since 1st January last. The total estimated saving resulting from these staff reductions is £869,000.

The staff and organisation of the Foreign Office and Foreign Service will be further reviewed during the course of 1953.

Mr. Noel-Baker

Since the work of the Foreign Office and its missions abroad is constantly increasing, will the Minister make certain that he does not damage that work by injudicious economies?

Mr. Nutting

Yes, Sir.

Mr. Stokes

Without wishing to get into conflict with my right hon. Friend may I ask the Minister to bear in mind that in certain instances the staffs have been grossly inflated, as I discovered when I was Minister of Works?

Mr. Nutting

I do not wish to push the blame on to anybody else, but I think that the answer I have given shows that any inflation has not been so much the responsibility of the Foreign Office.