asked the right hon. Member for Middlesbrough, as representing the House of Commons Commission, how many staff are at present employed to service Select Committees; and what were the comparable figures for 1979, 1980 and to date.
The number of staff of the House who are at present engaged full-time in the servicing of select committees is 83. Comparable figures for 1 April 1979 and 1 April 1980 were 59 and 78. In addition, a small number of permanent staff assist select committees on a part-time basis. Details of the number of specialist advisers appointed since May 1979 were given to the hon. Member for Stockport, North (Mr. Bennett) on 12 November—[Vol. 12, c. 153–5]. Since most specialist advisers are appointed for an indefinite term, it is not possible to break these numbers down by years.