HC Deb 26 March 1957 vol 567 c962
36. Mr. Willis

asked the Secretary of State for War what progress has been made in the "civilianisation" of the two Army pay offices in Edinburgh.

Mr. J. Amery

These two pay offices have a total staff of about 250, of whom 68 are civilians and 41 members of the Women's Royal Army Corps. The future composition of pay offices is at present under review and will depend upon a number of considerations. As already stated by my right hon. Friend, it is our policy to replace soldiers by civilians wherever possible.

Mr. Mikardo

Is the hon. Gentleman aware that one does not civilianise an Army pay office by recruiting civilian clerks, instead of soldiers, to work under Army officers with no knowledge of modern accounting methods and machinery? Does he realise that he will have to civilianise the management and methods as well as the clerks if he wants to civilianise properly?

Mr. Amery

As my right hon. Friend made clear in the Vote on Account debate, it is our intention to introduce electronic computing methods as soon as possible.