§ Mr. FORREST
asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Admiralty why, two and a half years after the Armistice, it is now necessary to have 11,504 officials to deal with the business of his Department as against 4,400 in pre-War days?
§ Mr. AMERY
The figures referred to are not comparable. The total staffs of the Admiralty and Admiralty Home Establishments on 1st June, 1921 (excluding industrial staffs), amounted to 11,235, as against a pre-War comparable figure of 5,321—an increase of 5,914. This increase has been caused, not only by an increase of work in the existing services, 613W but by the development which has taken place in the scientific services, e.g., mining, signalling, etc., and by such changes as the establishment of the Admiralty cordite factory, the development of the Naval Base at Rosyth, and the transfer of Naval ordnance inspection from the War Office to the Admiralty. Although a long period has elapsed since the War, there is still, and there will continue to be for some time, a very large amount of work in connection with the handling and disposal of surplus stores caused by the returns from the Fleet and the closing down of naval bases and depots. The task of reducing staff has not been made easier by the necessity for providing as many posts as possible for ex-service men. The period of training, however brief, which such staff must undergo has naturally delayed work to some extent. Much of the work left over by the War, already referred to above, is now on the point of completion, and very considerable reductions of the temporary staff retained for this purpose are about to be made.