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Departmental Staffs

Volume 437: debated on Monday 12 May 1947

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asked the Minister of Food the total number of persons employed by his Department at the last convenient date; what proportion of these are established civil servants; and how many are employed as enforcement officers.

Counting two part-timers as one full time worker, in the usual way, the number of industrial and non-industrial staff employed in my Department on 1st April, 1947, was 44,242, of whom 1,258, or 2.84 per cent., are established civil servants and 754 are employed throughout the country as enforcement officers

Is the Minister aware that the figure he has just given is only about 10 per cent. less than it was at the height of the war, and may we now anticipate an increase or a decrease?

It is entirely a question of rationing. If we can abolish, for example, bread rationing and the rationing of other staple foods, of course, we can make a most substantial decrease. The vast majority of this staff is employed in the local offices on rationing.

As the Minister has said that a reduction can only be made if we abolish rationing, will he now abolish rationing?

If the hon. and gallant Gentleman will abolish the necessity for rationing.