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Government Departments (Staff Review)

Volume 721: debated on Thursday 25 November 1965

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Q6.

asked the Prime Minister what instructions he has given to the members of his administration to reduce the size of the Departments under their control.

My right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer has asked Departments to review their staffs in order to achieve the maximum economy.

Is the Prime Minister aware that it will be widely hoped that this will lead to reductions? Does he not accept that the larger the Civil Service becomes, the more inefficient it is likely to be and the lower the calibre of its staff? Would he not agree that, with the present rate of growth of the Civil Service, any alleged economies which result from winding up the Territorial Army will be more than swallowed up in three years by the growth of a monstrous regiment of civil servants?

The hon. Member could cast his net a little more widely for some of the unproductive forms of employment in other parts of our national life, but since he is concerned particularly—[HON. MEMBERS: "What parts?") There is a considerable number of organisations which spend their time dealing with unproductive expenditure on certain aspects of public relations—

They are included within the figures of the Civil Service which I am about to give. They are as follows: 1st October, 1964–654,900; 1st July, 1965, the latest date for which there are figures—654,900.