HC Deb 21 April 1953 vol 514 cc800-1
30. Mr. Ian Harvey

asked the Secretary of State for War whether he will consider amending the establishment of the War Office by abolishing all general staff officer grade III appointments.

The Secretary of State for War (Mr. Antony Head)

No, Sir. I think that this would be impracticable. But we have been replacing young Regular officers serving in these appointments by retired officers, Women's Royal Army Corps officers and civilians. This will continue.

Mr. Harvey

Is my right hon. Friend aware that many of these officers fall between two stools? They have not sufficient authority to deal with policy matters and much of the detailed work could be dealt with by competent clerks. In view of the fact that my right hon. Friend is anxious to economise at the War Office, will he reconsider this matter?

Mr. Head

We have considerably reduced the number of these officers and it is our intention to see that none of them continues as a G. III unless there is a stool for him.

Colonel Gomme-Duncan

What is the age limit for retired officers to come into a G. III job?

Mr. Head

I should not like to say without notice. I think it is 55, but I will confirm that.