HC Deb 16 February 1959 vol 600 c10
5. Mr. Neal

asked the Paymaster-General, in view of the redundancy among coalminers, what general directions he has given to the National Coal Board to ensure a proportionate reduction of its officials and staff.

Sir I. Horobin

None, Sir. I am informed by the Board that it hopes to reduce its non-industrial staff by 5 per cent. in 1959.

Mr. Neal

Is it a fact that this reduction is to take place by means of a process of halting recruitment? If so, does not the Parliamentary Secretary agree that it is much less painful than the peremptory dismissal of miners? Is he aware that already there is a reduction of 26,000 men in the industry? When can we expect to see the figures of the Coal Board staff commensurate with the manual workers?

Sir I. Horobin

I am bound to say that that is primarily a matter for the Coal Board itself. I would point out that in proportion the cuts are very much greater—indeed, something like ten times the cuts being made in the miners.