HC Deb 28 November 1955 vol 546 cc1931-2
50. Major Legge-Bourke

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food how many officers of the former and separate Ministry of Food have been declared redundant; how many have been found employment elsewhere than in his present Department; how many of those transferred to his present Department have been promoted to appointments above permanent officers of the former separate Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries who have long experience of the work involved; and why such transfers have been made.

Mr. Amory

About 38,000 officers were released in the course of contracting the Ministry of Food. In the later stages 4,861 redundant established officers were transferred to other Departments; and 70 more have been transferred with their work since the amalgamation of my two offices. On amalgamation officers of the two Departments became members of one combined staff. I should think it unprofitable to undertake a special analysis of the origins and present posts of those who have been promoted on merit since then in accordance with procedures settled in agreement with staff representatives.

Major Legge-Bourke

While I thank my right hon. Friend for that reply, might I ask him to take note of the fact that in the provinces there has been some resentment at officers having to take second place to men who have no experience of the work on which they are engaged?

Mr. Amory

I am sure that my hon. and gallant Friend will agree with me that the correct aim when the two Departments were amalgamated was to weld them into one Department. That has been my aim. I can assure my hon. and gallant Friend that promotions have been decided by considerations of merit, service and technical qualifications.

Commander Maitland

Can my right hon. Friend assure the House that Parkinson's law does not apply in this case?

Mr. Amory

I should require notice of that question.