§ Mr. RATCLIFFE
asked the Minister of Food what is the object in trying to arrange for a further tenancy of the offices now occupied in Bradford by the Ministry of Food; what will be the number of the staff employed there and the cost, and what will be the specific duties they will perform; and, in view of the decontrol of most articles of food, can this matter be reconsidered?
§ Sir W. MITCHELL-THOMSON
As my hon. Friend is aware, a complete re-organisation of regional administration takes effect on 30th June. This re-organisation will have the result that the work hitherto done by 1,848 Local Food Control Committees will be carried on by about 490 Local Food Offices. The number of staff to be employed in the Bradford office is 14 at an approximate annual cost of £2,000. This office will do the work hitherto performed by six separate offices involving a staff of 24 at a cost of about £5,000. The specific duties to be performed will be the issue and cancellation of the consumers' registration documents for sugar, the adjustment of traders' supplies for that commodity, the registration of retailers in certain commodities where maximum prices must remain in force, the enforcement of Orders, general questions arising out of the administration of the bread subsidy, the provision at an accessible centre of information to the public, and other miscellaneous matters. As the whole question of local organisation has been the subject of the most careful consideration, and as a very large economy estimated at a rate of about £600,000 a year is being effected on the 30th June, the Minister of Food is not prepared at the moment to reconsider the proposed arrangements.