HC Deb 08 February 1972 vol 830 cc1132-3
Q4. Mr. Carter

asked the Prime Minister if he remains satisfied with the level of efficiency in all Government Departments; and if he will make a statement.

The Prime Minister

The improvement of efficiency in Government Departments must be a continuing process. The Report of the Civil Service Department for 1970–71, a copy of which is in the Library of the House, describes a number of new measures designed to promote greater departmental efficiency.

Mr. Carter

Is the Prime Minister aware that that is a most complacent reply? Is he aware that 1,023,583 people in the United Kingdom believe this Government and their Departments to be the most complacent in living memory? Does he agree that it is the height of inefficiency to pay £1 million a month to the unemployed of Birmingham rather than to see them employed in useful jobs?

The Prime Minister

If the hon. Gentleman seriously wants to discuss the efficiency of Government administration, he had better study the Civil Service Department Report, in which he will see that, far from their being any complacency, a major number of new measures has been taken to improve Government administration.

Mr. Thorpe

In view of the reported remarks of Lord Pearce this morning, and in fairness to at least one Department of State, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, will the Prime Minister say whether its total failure to discover the reasons for the detention of the Todds and Mr. Chinamano is attributable to the inefficiency of that Department or to the bloody-mindedness of Mr. Smith?

The Prime Minister

The right hon. Gentleman knows perfectly well that that question has nothing whatever to do with the Question on the Order Paper.

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