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Clerical Officers, West Hartlepool (Employment)

Volume 530: debated on Monday 19 July 1954

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42.

asked the Minister of Food what efforts are being made either to provide or find alternative employment, within travelling distances of their homes, for the clerical officers being displaced from his Department at West Hartlepool.

I have been asked to reply. For West Hartlepool, as for the rest of the country, all Departments were asked nearly six months ago to declare their clerical officer vacancies so that they might be used for the Ministry of Food staff. I understand that as a result local vacancies have been found for five out of 11 clerical officers from the Ministry of Food's office at West Hartlepool.

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that, of the five established officers with 15 years' service or more who have been ordered to remove more than 100 miles from West Hartlepool, at least four have domestic difficulties? Further, is he aware that in the Inland Revenue Department considerable overtime is being worked—indeed, some work is being taken home by some of the officers—and in other Government Departments in the neighbourhood a large number of temporary staff are employed while these permanent officers are being ordered 100 miles away?

We have endeavoured to give such vacancies as are available as a result of the changes in the Ministry of Food system, of which the hon. Member is aware, to the cases in which it seems that the greatest hardship would be involved by posting away.

The second part of the hon. Gentleman's question referred to the Inland Revenue, and he has a Question on the Order Paper to my right hon. Friend tomorrow which specifically raises that point.