asked the Secretary of State for Air the total number of persons of all descriptions, male and female, now connected with Halton; how many boys are now in training there; how many instructors are normally employed there; how many combatant and non-combatant members of the Air Force and/or other Government services, other than boys and instructors, are working at or are connected with Halton; and how many civilians, male and female, are working at or are connected with Halton?
The answer to the first question is 3,588; to the second, that there are at present 2,075 men and boys under training; to the third, 233; to the fourth, 834. With regard to the fifth question, the present civilian staff Lumbers 446, but on 1st April next, when most of the work on which they are engaged will be put out to contract, this number will be reduced to 83.
Do not these formidable figures suggest the possibility of over-staffing, and will the hon. and gallant Gentleman accept the suggestion that the matter should be looked into to see if it is possible to comb out?