§ 102 and 103. Mr. W. J. Brown
asked the Secretary of State for War (1) if his attention has been called to the case in the office of the D.C.R.E. at Northampton, where during December, 1946, to March, 1947, a civilian clerk of 10 years' service was displaced by a military clerk, the civilian having been offered downgrading or discharge; and whether he has approved this policy, which is opposed to previous ministerial assurances and causes discontent amongst the staffs;
(2) the numbers of military and civilian clerical workers employed in R.E. works services in the United Kingdom at the latest convenient date; whether he is aware of the recent militarisation of posts held for many years on a civilian basis; and if he will take steps to prevent the discharge or downgrading of civilian workers for replacement by soldiers in this service.
§ Mr. Bellenger
At 31st March, 151 military and 1,993 civilian clerical workers were employed in R.E. works services in the United Kingdom. These figures represent a 50 per cent. cut of military clerks and an 11 per cent, cut of civilians during the previous six months. The proportionate reduction of soldiers has, therefore, been far greater than that of civilians and it is certainly not the case that there has been any general militarisation of posts. In the interests of training and overseas postings, however, it is not possible to reduce the soldiers below a certain figure or to guarantee that it will never be necessary to put a, soldier in a post occupied by a civilian. In the general process of reductions in both military and civilian staff, some adjustment of posts between military and civilians is unavoidable. Every endeavour is made to find employment in the 211W same grade, either in the same office or in other War Department offices, for civilians whose posts are abolished, but the clerk in the particular case referred to did not wish to leave Northampton and there was no alternative to downgrading.