HC Deb 23 June 1958 vol 590 cc10-1
16. Sir I. Fraser

asked the Paymaster-General what saving in administrative and clerical manpower he expects as a result of the ending of coal rationing.

The Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Power (Sir Ian Horobin)

The end of coal control is expected to free up to 150 staff of the Ministry of Power, some 100 paid employees of the House Coal Distribution (Emergency) Scheme and some 1,600 local authority staff employed whole or part-time in local fuel offices.

Sir I. Fraser

While welcoming the economy in both manpower and money, may I ask my hon. Friend what will happen to these people?

Sir I. Horobin

Regarding the vast majority of them, as my hon. Friend will observe from my reply, that is really a matter for the local authorities concerned. They will no longer be paid by the Ministry of Power.

Mr. H. Morrison

Will the hon. Gentleman try to do better in effecting this administrative clerical economy than on the occasion of the notice during the bus strike regarding the oil distribution service, when three notices were addressed separately to the same garage in separate envelopes and all three notices were exactly the same?

Sir I. Horobin

I am not quite sure how that supplementary question arises out of the Question. In any case, as I say, regarding the vast majority of these persons, it is a matter for the local authorities, of which the right hon. Gentleman has greater experience than I have.

Mr. G. Jeger

Will the hon. Gentleman allocate some of his surplus personnel from headquarters staff to work out a more efficient method of distribution of coal? Everyone today considers it much too expensive and inefficient.

Sir I. Horobin

The short answer to that is that when we get a little competition into this business we are much more likely to suit the customer than by trying to do it from Whitehall.

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