Political Activities

Oral Answers to Questions — Civil Service – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 8th April 1954.

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Photo of Mr Peter Freeman Mr Peter Freeman , Newport (Monmouthshire/Gwent) 12:00 am, 8th April 1954

asked the Financial Secretary to the Treasury whether he will now publish a table showing the total number of civil servants in each Department; the numbers who are now allowed to take part in all political activities; the number allowed to take part in certain political activities, and how this restriction applies; and the number who are not allowed to take part in any political activities at all as a result of Command Paper No. 8783.

Photo of Mr John Boyd-Carpenter Mr John Boyd-Carpenter , Kingston upon Thames

As the answer contains a very large number of very complicated figures, I will, with permission, circulate it in the OFFICIAL REPORT.

Photo of Mr Peter Freeman Mr Peter Freeman , Newport (Monmouthshire/Gwent)

Could the right hon. Gentleman give us the total number involved in this Question, and say why it is that a large number of responsible people are deprived of these political rights, which are recognised by the United Nations as necessary and justifiable?

Photo of Mr John Boyd-Carpenter Mr John Boyd-Carpenter , Kingston upon Thames

On the first point, perhaps the hon. Gentleman will look at the answer. On the second, when he does look at it, I think he will find that the result as compared with the position under previous schemes is not unsatisfactory.

Following are the figures:

DepartmentStaff of Department on 1st January, 1954Free group (See Note 5)Standing permission to engage in all political activities for which members of group are eligibleRequired to seek permission individually to engage in any of the political activities for which members of group are eligibleRemain der of group (see Note 7)Total in groupRestricted group (See Note 8)
Agriculture and Fisheries13,0671,5325,1472,5507,6973,838
Customs and Excise15,2102,5323,360153,3759,303
Foreign Office5,5791,0186191,4582,0772,484
Forestry Commission2,233906299731,602541
Fuel and Power2,5502631,1611851,346941
Home Office3,3824561,6191,6191,307
Housing and Local Government3,2523321,3491,3491,571
Inland Revenue53,4453,4218,19728,23336,43013,594
National Assistance Board9,9436761,8214,1245,9453,322
Ordnance Survey4,3174,00125725759
Pensions and National Insurance38,8263,49417,38810,68528,0737,259
Post Office258,531215,49432,1431,83433,9779,060
Prison Commission6,6635,118801801744
Scientific and Industrial Research3,0731351,4824471,9291,009
Stationery Office3,1181,1548676761,543421
Transport and Civil Aviation10,7562,8043,6185464,1643,788
War Office39,2872, 07331,4114231,4535,761
OTHER DEPARTMENTS28,0855,72310,2271,86585012,9429,815
TOTAL (non-industrial staff)668,917270,560191,75378,2998,782278,834119,918
Add industrial staff all Departments427,223427,223
GRAND TOTAL1,096,140697,783278,834119,918
1. As a number of Departments are in consultation with their Departmental Whitley Councils about the classification of staff, the figures are given provisional.
2. Departments with staffs totalling fewer than 2,000 are included, but are not shown separately.
3. Part-time staffs are included and counted as wholetimers.
4. The Department of Atomic Energy has been omitted.
5. Members of this Group are free from all restrictions.
6. Members of this Group are eligible for permission to engage in all political activities, national and local, except Parliamentary candidature, subject to a code of discretion.
7. The staff here shown will be subject to special rules, notably in respect of local political activities.
8. Members of this Group are debarred from engaging in national political activities, but are free to seek permission to engage in local political activities.