asked the Minister of Pensions what are the names and salaries 1174W of the regional directors in the Ministry of Pensions; how many, if any, are on part time; how many have received an intimation that their services may at an early date be dispensed with; and whether his Department has under consideration such reorganisation of the administration as would involve the closing of all regions by June, 1926, and the centralisation of administrative work in the Ministry headquarters in London?
On the completion of the recentralisation of the Midlands region on the 5th proximo there will remain only two regions, Northern, with headquarters at Newcastle-on-Tyne, and Scotland, with headquarters at Edinburgh. In the Northern region the duties of regional director have, for many months past, been combined with those of the Commissioner of Medical Services without increase in emoluments. In the Scotland region the regional director is at present required to give part-time service only and receives a salary of £600 per annum. His services cease at the end of next month, and thereafter the duties will be combined with those of the Commissioner of Medical Services without increase in that officer's emoluments. Re-centralisation is the policy of the present Government as it was of the last, and arrangements are already in contemplation for closing the headquarters of the Northern region early in 1926. No decision has yet been taken on the question of the recentralisation of the Scotland region, but as I indicated to the hon. Member for Edinburgh East on the 18th instant, the time is not far distant, according to present indications, when the decline in the volume of the Ministry's work will render the retention of separate regional headquarters in Edinburgh unjustifiable.