Oral Answers to Questions — Overseas Trade Department.

– in the House of Commons on 29th July 1942.

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Photo of Mr William Brown Mr William Brown , Rugby

asked the Prime Minister whether he is satisfied that it is necessary to maintain, in present circumstances, the Department of Overseas Trade in its present form; and whether he will consider reducing it to care and maintenance staff?

Photo of Mr Clement Attlee Mr Clement Attlee , Stepney Limehouse

The reply to the first part of the Question is in the affirmative, and the second part, therefore, does not arise.

Photo of Mr William Brown Mr William Brown , Rugby

Is not the Deputy Prime Minister aware that the staff of this Department considers that very extensive reductions could be made in the size of the personnel of that office, and as the staff itself thinks that, will not the Minister give further consideration to the matter?

Photo of Mr Clement Attlee Mr Clement Attlee , Stepney Limehouse

The staff has already been reduced from 423 to 123.

Photo of Mr William Brown Mr William Brown , Rugby

Will the Minister consider the submission of the staff that 120 are

Photo of Mr Philip Noel-Baker Mr Philip Noel-Baker , Derby

I would not accept any of the allegations made by the hon. Member or the implications involved in them. I think he would do well to study the figures and then raise the matter again if he feels so disposed.

Following are the figures:

grossly excessive for the work which that Department now has to do? Will he go into that matter?