asked the Civil Lord of the Admiralty what further steps have been taken to concentrate Admiralty departments at one site, in pursuance of Recommendation 6 of the First Report from the Select Committee on Estimates in Session 1959–60, in view of the recent decision to amalgamate sections of the Naval Accounts Departments at Bath.
As already announced, the Dockyards and Maintenance Department has already been concentrated on one site in Bath, and the Radio Division of the Weapons Department, at present in London, will join its parent department in Bath in mid-1962.The move of the Accounts Department to Bath in mid-1962 will leave two branches in London. The intention is to move them to Bath also as part of a long-term redeployment plan, but this will involve new building. The Admiralty is vacating Queen Anne's Mansions and its offices in Pinner next year, and concentrating approximately 1,900 staff in the new Empress State Building at Earls Court. This will achieve economies in common services and contribute to greater inter-departmental efficiency.
Whilst expressing satisfaction with the progress that is being made with the first part of Recommendation No. 6, may I ask my hon. Friend whether equal progress has been made in the implementation of the second part of that recommendation.
The concentration of the whole of the Department in one place does mean that there is less call on the Director-General to have to travel. We in the Admiralty are trying to exercise economy in this respect, and are trying to avoid calling the Director-General up from Bath unless it is absolutely necessary to do so.