HC Deb 22 July 1970 vol 804 c535
43. Mr. Stokes

asked the Minister for the Civil Service what progress has been made in the review of the number of civil servants employed; and if he will make a statement.

40. Mr. Sillars

asked the Minister for the Civil Service which Departments have been instructed to produce cost reduction plans.

Mr. David Howell

I would refer the hon. Members to the reply by my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister to the hon. Member for Halifax (Dr. Summerskill) on 9th July.—[Vol. 803, c. 842.]

Mr. Stokes

Will my hon. Friend take it that, while we wish to see the review conducted in a humane and orderly fashion, it is essential that a decision should be reached as soon as possible to end uncertainty and to show that Her Majesty's Government mean business in this important matter?

Mr. Howell

I realise that, but we must look into the question in an orderly and systematic way. We intend to look at possible economies in all Departments and all areas. When we have reached clear and sensible decisions, we shall announce them.

Mr. Harold Walker

Will the businessmen recruits to whom the hon. Gentleman has referred be in any way subject to the Civil Service rules, and what will be their relationship to the Civil Service?

Mr. Howell

They are based in the Civil Service Department, but they are responsible directly to Ministers.