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Government Departments

Volume 155: debated on Wednesday 28 June 1922

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Admiralty

9.

asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Admiralty whether he is aware of the dissatisfaction which exists as a result of the prolonged inflation of the numbers in the Civil Service staff attached to the Admiralty, especially in view of the drastic reductions in the fighting personnel; whether it is considered that there is justification for employing 2,417 more persons at the Admiralty than were so employed in the year 1914, while the total number of ships of all kinds only exceeds the 1914 strength by 65 out of a total of 1,123; and by what date it is expected that commensurate reductions will have been made?

The figure of 2,417 quoted by the hon. and gallant Member is incorrect; it should be 1,678 if naval officers are included, or 1,561 if civil staff only be taken. A large proportion of this increase is employed for the benefit of the fighting personnel in the distribution of prize money, medals and marriage allowance, etc. It is hoped that a large part of this work will be completed by the end of this year, and that the numbers will then he considerably reduced. In the meantime they are under continual scrutiny and reduction.

In the meantime, may I ask how the hon. and gallant Gentleman can defend the increase of 400 per cent. or over in the case of naval constructors, who have nothing to do with marriage allowance? When will these people be reduced?

I have given a general answer. I think it would be better to put these matters of reduction of staff on an occasion when the subject can be debated.

Will a further reduction of staff in the Admiralty take place before the issue of clasps?

There is another question on the Paper with reference to that matter.

Ministry Of Pensions (Publicity Branch)

39.

asked the Minister of Pensions the names of the officials now employed in the Publicity Branch of the Ministry of Pensions and the salaries paid in each case; whether these officials are non-service men and retained on five-year contracts; and if he will explain under what circumstances such contracts were made and quote the Treasury Regulation authorising such procedure?

There are only two officials employed in the Publicity Branch at the present time—one, who is paid a salary of £700 a year, is a non-service man, and the other, a temporary male clerk with 71s. 6d. a week, is an ex-service man. The former officer was appointed in April, 1918, and was then assured by the Minister of Pensions at the time that his appointment would not be for a shorter period than five years. This officer relinquished a post carrying pensionable rights and he possesses special qualifications for the work.

War Office (Publicity Department)

53.

asked the Secretary of State for War if he will give the number of officers employed in the Press or Publicity Department at the War Office; and how many of these are service men and how many non-service men?

I would refer my hon. and gallant Friend to the replies given to my hon. and gallant Friends the Members for Moss Side and Harhorough on the 19th and 27th June, respectively.

Post Office (Publicity Department)

52.

asked the Postmaster-General if he will give the number of officers employed in the Press or Publicity Department at the Post Office; and how many of these are service and how many non-service men?

One such officer is employed at the Post Office; he is a non-service man.