Mr. H. D. Hughes
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what number of civil servants were employed by his Department in administering the Fire Service at national and regional level in 1938; what is the comparable number at the latest available date; and what are the comparative costs of administration.
§ Mr. Ede
In 1938 the fire brigades were administered by the local authorities and the only staff employed by the Home Office was that required to enable it to discharge its responsibilities under the Air Raid Precautions Act, 1937, and the Fire Brigades Act, 1938; there was no regional staff. Since 1941 the Fire Service has been a national service directly administered by the Home Office. This has necessitated a substantial head-quarters organisation; the detailed administration at regional and lower levels is almost wholly performed by staff comprising members of the National Fire Service and not civil servants. It is, therefore, not possible to make an exact comparison, but the figures asked for by my hon. Friend are as follows:
— 1st April, 1938. 1st December, 1947 Number of Civil Servants 19 205 Annual Cost £9,660 £114,550