asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he is aware that according to Cd. 1,665 the pre-War naval personnel was 145,600, with an Admiralty staff of 4,400, while on the 1st April last the naval personnel was 121,400, with an Admiralty staff of 9,100; whether he is satisfied that it requires a doubled Admiralty staff to deal with a personnel reduced by 24,200 officers and men; if so, can he give reasons for his satisfaction; and, if not, will he effect reductions in the non-fighting forces borne oh naval Votes?
I have been asked to reply. If the right hon. Member would refer to the answer which I gave to the late Member for Pontefract on 16th June of last year he will see that the figures of Admiralty staff given at the two dates are not comparable. The comparable pre-War figure, which includes outport establishments, should be 5,321 and not 4,400. The figure for 1st November last is 8,546. As regards the justification for the numbers at present employed, I would call the right hon. Member's attention both to the reply referred to and to the late First Lord's remarks on this subject in the statement accompanying the Navy Estimates. The numbers of staff employed are under continuous scrutiny, and the numbers are kept at the lowest possible limit compatible with the efficient conduct of the work. A reduction of 1,655 has been made during the past 12 months, and the numbers will be further reduced continuously throughout the financial year.