Thursday, 10 February 2011

A 1961 Hansard trawl

It looks as though there's nothing new in over-manning at government departments, as this shows:

Mr Paget asked the Civil Lord of the Admiralty if he will state the number of persons employed in his Department, the number of Her Majesty's ships in commission, and the number of men serving in the fleets in 1939, 1945, 1950. 1960, or convenient proximate dates.

Mr Ian Orr-Ewing - The numbers of civilians and naval officers together employed at Admiralty Headquarters in the years 1938, 1946, 1950 and 1960, respectively, were: 4,407, 18,445, 10,855 and 9,953. The number of Her Majesty's ships in commission at approximately the same respective dates were: 434, 1,176, 268, 211. The number of men serving afloat on approximately similar dates were: 68,300, 159,900, 65,900 and 43,000. These figures exclude Fleet Air Arm and Royal Marine Commando personnel serving ashore.

So, twice as many folk at the Admiralty in 1960 than in 1938 with only half as many ships.  Graph forthcoming if time and technology permits.

The National Theatre -
Dr. Stross (Lab, Stoke on Trent)  asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he is aware of the mounting public interest in the possibility that, after long delay, the National Theatre will be built on the site allocated on the South Bank; and when he will make an announcement about this. 
Doubtless the talk in Stoke was of little else.  Stross is rumoured to have been a Czech spook.  The MPs for Goole and Cambridge were also interested.
And then this:

Mr. Jeger  Is the Financial Secretary aware that this long continued and unnecessary delay in making up the mind of the Government on this question is building up their reputation for meanness and mediocrity? Are not the Government being put to shame in this matter by the imaginative and progressive policy of the L.C.C. in developing the South Bank?

Sir E. Boyle I do not consider that the Government's record of support for the arts generally, in comparison with that of any previous Government, can be considered all that mean. In other respects, I do not think I can add to what I have said.
Meanwhile, a doff of the opera hat to Sir Peter Garnett Agnew Bt, the thespians' friend:

When the time comes when the Government feel able to give more money to art, will they consider, not putting it into bricks and mortar, but making it available to our provincial repertory companies, from whom and among whom so many of our leading dramatists have made their successful beginnings in their profession?

And now the smoker's friend,or perhaps the tobacco barons' friend:

Mr. Woodnutt  (Con, IoW) asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will authorise the Customs and Excise to refund duty in respect of stocks of tobacco and cigarettes damaged by flooding.

Mr. Barber No, Sir.
(Adopts Taggart voice) - There's been a muhrderrr:

Brigadier Clarke asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many murders, known to the police, took place in January, 1960; and how this figure compares with that for January, 1961.

Mr. R. A. Butler: The number of murders recorded as known to the police in January, 1960, was 18. The corresponding figure for January, 1961, is not yet available, but it seems probable that it will be about 21. These figures include some cases that have been or will be found not to be murder.
And so to the demon drink:

Mr. F. Noel-Baker asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department when he will publish the results of the investigations of the Social Survey Division of the Central Office of Information into offences of drunkenness among all age groups which he received almost six months ago.

Mr. R. A. Butler:The inquiry was limited to police records and the views of the police; and the report was not designed for publication. The report shows that the general view of the police is that public drunkenness is not a serious or increasing problem. It affords some ground for believing that the increased number of convictions for drunkenness is in part attributable to changes in police practice rather than to an increase in drunkenness itself. These conclusions, however, are tentative and must be treated with some reserve.
Oh well....

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