HC Deb 23 July 1958 vol 592 cc400-1
19. Mr. de Freitas

asked the Secretary of State for Air what progress in the more efficient use of manpower has been achieved in recent months as a result of recommendations made by the Director of Work Study.

Mr. C. I. Orr-Ewing

In recent months our work study resources have been deployed on a wide range of studies covering the operational, technical and administrative spheres. They include a review of technical trade groups to produce a higher degree of flexibility, and thus the fuller utilisation of time and skill. This is particularly relevant in those trades where we expect shortages when National Service ends. Other studies include experiments to improve and speed up the servicing of particular types of aircraft; and the improvement of systems of supply. With the re-equipment and re-shaping of the Royal Air Force it is difficult to isolate manpower savings due directly to work study. The value of the work done so far is illustrated by the economies achieved for example in Air Movements and Stock Control Sections, and at an important Signals Centre. All these examples may be capable of wider application.

Mr. de Freitas

While welcoming any recommendations from this Director which have resulted in manpower economies, may I ask whether the Under-Secretary of State is satisfied that the setting up of this directorate has not caused other senior officers and heads of departments to feel that the saving of manpower is not one of their primary responsibilities in their own departments?

Mr. Orr-Ewing

I am glad that the hon. Gentleman has raised that point. The establishment committees go on with their normal work of trying to prune the establishments and to make sure that everyone is essential. That is quite outside the terms of reference of the Work Study Group.

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