17. Mr. B. Harrison
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food how many persons in his Department are employed administering the Fatstock Guarantee Payments at the present time, and how many were so engaged in January of this year.
The number of persons in my Department employed in administering the Fatstock Guarantee Payments Scheme at 1st January, 1956, was 1,410 and at 1st November, 1956, 884. On 1st April, 1956, the Department of Agriculture for Scotland took over from my Department the responsibility for administering the Payments Scheme in Scotland, together with 215 staff. The comparable figures for England and Wales on the two dates are therefore 1,195 and 884.
Can my right hon. Friend say whether the new scheme is going to lead to any increase in administrative staff or whether this commendable reduction will be able to continue?
The supplementary payment that is being made may call temporarily for a very small increase in staff, but when that has been done, I would 1931 certainly say that it would call for no permanent increase in staff, but possibly for a reduction.