While carrying on its normal banking and pension-paying services, the Department has been completing the first stage of its dispersal to Crawley New Town and planning the introduction of a computer system, to be installed at Crawley. Staff in post number 629, against a complement of 653; subject to the filling of vacancies, the staffing provision is adequate.
Mr. Gresham Cooke:
Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that 629 people seem to help the Paymaster-General to do precisely nothing? Is he aware that the Paymaster-General has earned £1,830 since 16th October? Is he aware that he has answered only six Questions in the House, which come out at £305 per Question? Does the right hon. Gentleman think that this man is giving value for money? Do we not deserve better value for it?
My right hon. Friend the Paymaster-General's office acts as a banker for most Government Departments and pays more than 400,000 public service pensions to teachers, civil servants, National Health Service pensioners and the rest. As to the work of my right hon. Friend, I do not think that the hon. Gentleman need be so nervous. Unless he has something which he is anxious to hide, I can assure him that my right hon. Friend's eagle eye will not fall on him.
No; it is a breach of the courtesies, but I did not hear it. Let us get on. I think that the right hon. Gentleman the Chancellor had answered.