War Office.

Oral Answers to Questions — Government Staffs. – in the House of Commons on 20th October 1920.

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Photo of Mr Alfred Yeo Mr Alfred Yeo , Poplar South Poplar

14.

asked the Secretary of State for War whether he can give an estimate of the staff that will be required by his Department as a peace standard, and when ho hopes to be able to make such reductions as will bring the number to such a level?

Photo of Mr Archibald Williamson Mr Archibald Williamson , Moray and Nairnshire

No estimate of any real value can yet be given of the staff that will be required by this Department as a peace standard, nor of the approximate date by which it will be possible to make such reductions as will bring the number to a peace level. The volume of incoming work is still over five times the pre-War average, whereas the staff is at the present time less than four times the pre-War strength. Further reductions of staff are dependent upon the rate of reduction in the volume of incoming work, of which no reliable forecast can be given, and over which the War Office obviously has no control. Since the Armistice the staff of this Department has been reduced from 22,279 to 6,667; the latter figure is exclusive of the factories' staffs, which were under the control of the Ministry of Munitions at the date of the Armistice, and which were transferred to the War Office as from 1st April, 1920. Reductions of staff since 1st January, 1920, total 3,581, and a steady rate of reduction is being maintained. The rate of reduction may be somewhat cheeked for a time by the taking in of ex-service men, under the orders of His Majesty's Government, in substitution for non-ex-service men and women, as in some cases the replacement of experienced by inexperienced officials may involve overlapping The whole, subject is receiving unremitting attention, and considerable progress has been made with schemes for reorganisation on a post-War basis.

Photo of Mr James Hogge Mr James Hogge , Edinburgh East

Can the right hon. Gentleman say why there is five times more work coming into the War Office now that there have been two years of peace?

Photo of Mr Archibald Williamson Mr Archibald Williamson , Moray and Nairnshire

That is very easy to understand. If the hon. Member received the number of letters that I receive, he would see that a great many cases arise of correspondence with regard to soldiers' accounts, and all sorts of questions as to pensions. They are much more numerous. They are the remains of the War, which are being cleared up.

Photo of Mr James Hogge Mr James Hogge , Edinburgh East

Why is it five times as much?