HC Deb 30 November 1955 vol 546 cc2280-1
5. Mr. Shinwell

asked the Minister of Defence to what extent the changes recently announced concerning the relations between his Department and the three Service Departments will reduce the numbers of administrative officers and civil servants concerned with defence matters.

Mr. Selwyn Lloyd

I hope that these steps toward closer co-ordination will in due course make possible some economies of the kind which I think that the right hon. Gentleman has in mind. I cannot, however, at this early stage make any estimate of numbers.

Mr. Shinwell

May I ask the Minister not to delay these economies too long? Is there not a case, now that there has been some measure of co-operation between himself and the three Service Departments, for a reduction in the Civil Service complement and in particular in the military personnel, who ought to be returned to their units where probably they could do better work?

Mr. Lloyd

The right hon. Gentleman is referring to an exceedingly important matter which has my constant attention. We very much hope that it will be possible to make a reduction in the headquarters personnel.