HC Deb 27 February 1963 vol 672 cc1240-1
21. Miss Herbison

asked the Secretary of State for Air if he will state the present location of his Department's headquarters, and the number of persons currently employed at those headquarters.

Mr. H. Fraser

The Air Ministry headquarters staff totals about 7,400 Service and civilian personnel of whom 6,100 are in Central London, 400 on the outskirts of London, 660 at Harrogate and 240 at Worcester and Gloucester. In addition, there are about 900 staff of the Meteorological Office at their headquarters at Bracknell.

Miss Herbison

Since these figures show that by far the greater number are in Central London, may I ask whether there is any reason why they should be? Is not this a way in which the Government could help to provide employment, say, in the north of England or in Scotland? Will the Minister give some serious consideration to taking part of this work to one of the areas where unemployment is so heavy?

Mr. Fraser

As the hon. Lady will know, on 25th February my right hon. Friend the Chief Secretary announced that we are setting up a committee to look into the question of departments and their locations. So far as Scotland is concerned, in our out-stations we employ over 2,300 civilians.

Mr. Lipton

Are all of these 7.000 people doing a grand job of work?

Mr. Fraser

Grand, and I am glad to say that we have reduced the staff by some 700 over the last five years.

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