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Volume 955: debated on Thursday 3 August 1978

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asked the Lord President of the Council why the staff of the House of Commons, excluding police, has increased by 22 per cent. since 1973–74 and the staff of the Refreshment Department by 23 per cent. in the same period when the number of Members of Parliament at 635 has remained the same; and if he will make a statement.

The staff of the House has been increased to meet additional work of the House and its Committees and the expansion in services available to Members. The staff of the Refreshment Department was increased in the interests of security when casual labour had to be severely restricted, and permanent staff recruited.