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Scientific Service

Volume 437: debated on Wednesday 14 May 1947

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asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Admiralty how many applications to join the R.N. Scientific Service have there been since 1st January, 1946; and how many of these have been accepted.

The R.N. Scientific Service is composed of both permanent and temporary staff. The permanent appointments are filled from the Scientific Civil Service, for which there is centralised recruitment. This recruitment is conducted by the Civil Service Commissioners, who are responsible for the allocation of successful candidates according to their qualifications and the vacancies in the various Departments employing scientific staff. The number of staff entered by this method since 1st January, 1946, is 571. Temporary staff are mainly recruited for work of short duration for which special qualifications are necessary.

Could the Civil Lord say whether it was due to a shortage of staff that the Navy were under-spent in the scientific service last year?

I think that point was dealt with on the Navy Estimates; it was not only a question of shortage of staff, it was also a question of the shortage of available buildings for the purpose of employing staff.

Is my hon. Friend now satisfied with the numbers being allocated to the Navy from the central pool?

At the moment we are satisfied having regard to the possibilities of employing them. There is a great demand for scientists at the present time, and I feel that we have our fair quota of them at the moment.