HC Deb 23 November 1943 vol 393 cc1457-8W
Sir R. Gower

asked the Secretary of State for War what is the proportion of officer posts in relation to lower military posts among the R.A.P.C. in home pay offices; what is the proportion of civilian officer posts to lower civilian posts in the same establishments; and whether active steps are being taken to provide better prospects for civilian personnel?

Sir J. Grigg

The proportion of "officer" posts to other posts in Pay Offices at home is 1 to 12.8. The proportion of military officers to other ranks (including A.T.S.) in Pay Offices is 1 to 10.36. The proportion of civilian officers to lower civilian posts is 1 to 269; the civilian officers are all established Civil Servants and their proportion to established men in lower posts is 1 to 11.5. I would like to emphasise that whereas the R.A.P.C. officers have been selected for officer duties and with a view to service wherever they may be required, the majority of civilians appointed for temporary service during the war have been engaged to carry out the ordinary routine work. Nevertheless the question of providing better prospects for civilian personnel is under active consideration.

Captain Plugge

asked the Secretary of State for War whether he is aware that work similar to that done by the R.A.P.C. for the Army is, in the case of the R.A.F., performed by civilians; and whether he will investigate the possibility of using civilians for this work in the case of the War Department, thus saving money and releasing military personnel for more active duty?

Sir J. Grigg

I understand that the payment of allowances to families and dependants of R.A.F. personnel is centralized in an office staffed by civilians, but the pay, accounts are maintained by a mixed staff of R.A.F., W.A.A.F. and some civilians. A considerable number of civilians are already employed in Army Pay Offices and I have no objection to their employment in greater numbers. The possibility of replacing soldiers and A.T.S. by civilians is in fact being investigated at the moment but I must point out that the extent to which this may be possible is determined by the general man-power situation, especially the demands for manpower of other forms of national service.