asked the Minister of Labour whether he is aware that Colonel Summers, D.S.O., D.S.C., and Commander Pethick, officers with records of distinguished combatant service, have been dismissed from the directorate of the Appointments Board of the Ministry of Labour, after four years of highly successful service in conjunction with a number of voluntary assistants; whether these two distinguished officers have been replaced by two high officials of the Civil Liabilities Department of the headquarters of the Ministry at higher salaries; will he say why this is so; and whether he is aware that the majority of voluntary workers have threatened to resign in consequence unless the aforementioned two officers are reinstated immediately?
My hon. and gallant Friend would appear to have been misinformed in this matter. Commander Pethiek is still being retained in the Appointments Branch of the Ministry of Labour, but in pursuance of the general policy of securing economy of staff the services of Colonel Summers are being terminated as from the 30th April. It is not a fact, however, that the place of this officer will be taken by another official. On the contrary, his post is definitely to be retrenched, and the duties which he has performed will, as from the 1st May, be shared between other officers of the Appointments Branch in addition to their existing duties. The other points raised by my hon. and gallant Friend do not accordingly arise.
As the right hon. Gentleman has stated that his policy is to reduce expenditure, why has he now two permanent secretaries at £3,000 a year instead of one at £1,500?