HC Deb 10 February 1969 vol 777 cc860-1
7. Mr. Sheldon

asked the Minister for the Civil Service if he will make a statement on the pilot study of the unified grading structure.

Mrs. Hart

At present, a good deal of essential information, including studies of the practice in large United Kingdom organisations and in the Civil Service of other countries, is being collected, and discussions on the form of further studies are taking place; I cannot yet say what form these will take.

Mr. Sheldon

Is my right hon. Friend aware that this part of the Fulton Report has been called the core of it? Will she make sure that this is proceeded with as speedily as possible, since an impression has been given that parts of the Civil Service are not too happy about the implementation of this part of the Report which was accepted so wholeheartedly by the Prime Minister?

Mrs. Hart

I assure my hon. Friend—and I agree that this is a vital part of the recommendations—that work on this is moving ahead. We are building up the investigating team, but, as the Fulton Committee was the first to realise, it is one of the lengthier recommendations, because it is one of the more fundamental ones, and it will take time to implement.

Sir E. Boyle

Will the right hon. Lady recognise that we realise that this is a recommendation which must take time fully to implement, but is it not a fact that it will be most unfortunate if the impression is given here of any dragging of feet, and that some beginning on the implementation of the Report ought to happen really soon?

Mrs. Hart

It is beginning. As I said, the first step is to collect a lot of information. The second is to set up an investigating team to see what is going to be the best way to do this. It is going ahead. I assure the right hon. Gentleman that there is no dragging of feet on this matter.