HC Deb 27 November 1952 vol 508 cc72-3W
61. Sir W. Smithers

asked the Minister of Agriculture what steps he has taken during 1952, and what steps he will take in 1953, in order substantially to reduce the costs of his Department; and if he will take steps to stop all trading activities.

Sir T. Dugdale

The principal expenditures of my Department, including the trading services, are directly related to the Government's programme to increase food production. I am effecting economies so far as is consistent with that general policy. In the past year the total staff has been reduced by 1,000 and I expect to secure further reductions in the coming year.

The main trading activities are constantly reviewed to see how far they remain absolutely necessary to the success of the Government's programme. The scale of some of these services and the net cost of the trading services as a whole have now been very considerably reduced. Arrangements have been made for terminating the Pool Labour Service by the end of the present financial year and I aim to make the remaining services as nearly self-supporting as possible.