HC Deb 06 July 1954 vol 529 cc1945-6
7. Mr. Pannell

asked the President of the Board of Trade if he will make a statement on the reorganisation of his Department which will become necessary on the transfer to him of functions hitherto performed by the Ministry of Supply; what consultations he is having with the Minister of Supply to enable staff from that Department to be transferred; and what estimate he has made of the additional number required.

Mr. Amory

I am afraid I cannot add to the reply which my right hon. Friend the Minister of Supply gave the hon. Gentleman yesterday.

Mr. Pannell

Is the right hon. Gentleman sure that he cannot add anything to that? The staff in the Department are fully seized that changes are in progress at the present time and have expressed some alarm. They want to know whether the Minister can give an assurance that when work is transferred the staff engaged on that work will accompany it. Can the right hon. Gentleman at least say that if there is any proposed transfer at all the staff will be adequately consulted?

Mr. Amory

The question which the hon. Member has raised as to the effect of any such change on staff is obviously important. I should like to repeat that no decision has yet been reached. If and when a decision is reached, I have no doubt whatever that proper consultations will take place.

Mr. W. R. Williams

Will the Minister make quite sure that before final decisions are taken there will be this staff consultation to which he has referred?

Mr. Amory

I am quite sure that the proper treatment of staff will be taken into consideration before a decision is reached.