HC Deb 23 February 1976 vol 906 cc6-7
5. Sir A. Meyer

asked the Secretary of State for Wales if he will publish statistics showing the increase or decrease in the number of administrative and clerical jobs in the public sector in Wales during the past 12 months.

The Under-Secretary of State for Wales (Mr. Barry Jones)

The Department of Employment provisionally estimates that the number in the public administration category, which covers a large proportion of administrative and clerical employees in central and local government, increased by 5,100 in Wales between September 1974 and September 1975.

Sir A. Meyer

Subject to the overriding need to reduce and keep down the number employed by the Government, will the hon. Gentleman assure us that he will continue to press for the implementation of proposals to transfer some administrative jobs—not only in the Civil Service but also in the grossly swollen headquarters staff of public corporations such as the British Steel Corporation and the National Coal Board—from London to Wales, particularly North Wales, where such jobs are badly needed?

Mr. Barry Jones

I am receptive to a plea for North Wales. I know, from conditions locally, that there may be a point in what the hon. Gentleman says, but Wales overall has more than its fair share of dispersed jobs. On the hon. Gentleman's first question, central Government staffing is currently under close scrutiny and local government staffing is being monitored through the joint staff watch.