HC Deb 02 February 1960 vol 616 cc777-9
19. Mr. D. Price

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he will list under each Department of State the number of permanent officials in the Department who are paid more than the Minister in charge.

30. Mr. Blackburn

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will state, for each Government Department, the number of civil servants who are paid at a higher rate than the Minister and the number paid at a higher rate than the Parliamentary Secretary or Under-Secretary.

Mr. Amory

I will circulate in the OFFICIAL REPORT a list showing for each Department the number of officials who are paid more than the Minister in charge; the total number of such officials is 52. The extraction of comparable Departmental figures for officials who are paid more than a Parliamentary Secretary would involve extensive inquiries. A rough estimate of the total number of such officials is 4,500.

The Ministerial salaries on which these figures are based do not include the £750 of Parliamentary remuneration.

Mr. Price

In anticipation of my right hon. Friend's Written Reply, will he state whether he knows of any reputable organisation in which the executive head is paid less than his subordinates, or is this House to interpret the present salary structure as symbolic of the transfer of power from the political head to the permanent head of a Department?

Mr. Amory

My hon. Friend must not provoke me into a discussion of this question. It is not easy to draw a close analogy between Ministers and civil servants in this respect. To take one distinction only, there is quite a difference in the security of tenure between the two.

Mr. H. Wilson

There is obviously no party issue on this question. Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that no one is likely to accuse any hon. Member on this side of the House of an immediate financial interest in the question? Nevertheless, will the Chancellor take very seriously the point which has just been put to him by his hon. Friend? It is an undesirable state of affairs. Will he look into it in the interests of public administration?

Mr. Amory

I agree that there is something in the point. I will take note of what both my hon. Friend and the right hon. Gentleman have said.

Mr. Gresham Cooke

Will my right hon Friend also bear in mind the fact that, if a Minister from a large Department were paid according to ordinary standards of responsibility and the size of his Department, it is probable that Ministers' salaries would be between £15,000 and £20,000 a year?

Mr. Amory

My hon. Friend brings a blush to my cheek.

Following is the information:

Departments in which there are permanent officials whose salary Number is greater than that of the Minister in charge Number of such officials
H.M. Treasury (including sub-Departments) 8
H.M. Customs and Excise 1
Inland Revenue 1
Government Actuary's Department 1
Admiralty 2
Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food 1
Air Ministry 1
Ministry of Aviation 3
Colonial Office 1
Commonwealth Relations Office 5
Ministry of Defence 3
Ministry of Education 1
Foreign Office 9
Ministry of Health 2
Home Office 1
Ministry of Housing and Local Government 1
Ministry of Labour 1
Ministry of Pensions and National Insurance 1
Post Office 2
Ministry of Power 1
Department of Scientific and Industrial Research 1
Scottish Office 1
Board of Trade 1
Ministry of Transport 1
War Office 1
Ministry of Works 1