§ Mr. Profumo
asked the Secretary of State for War whether he is aware that there is considerable local concern about his Department's policy in connection with No. 1 Engineer Stores Depot, Long Marston, Warwickshire; and if he will make a statement, particularly with regard to the employment of civilians and the progress in providing permanent accommodation for married military personnel.
§ Mr. Strachey
This establishment, which is on War Department land and has good rail communications, and on which a great deal of money has already been spent, is intended to be retained permanently as a central engineer stores depot. It is proposed to build married quarters for 11 officers and 46 other ranks there. The total military and civilian staff is rather more than half the wartime strength, but considerably more civilians are employed. The ultimate total establishment is likely to show a considerable reduction on the present overall strength. It is necessary to employ civilians because soldiers are not available in sufficient numbers to man the depot and to provide continuity. The wage of a labourer in the depot is £4 18s. a week as against a minimum wage of £4 14s. a week for a farm labourer who normally incurs less travelling and other expenses.