The relationship of the Home Office and the Ministry of Labour with the Treasury Establishment Division 1919-1946 : an evaluation of contrasting needs
The thesis examines three Departments of the British Home Civil Service from 1919 to 1946: the Home Office, the Ministry of Labour and the Treasury Establishment Division. The study investigates the contrasting needs, in establishment terms, of an old "Secretary of State" department the Home Office, performing a largely regulatory role, with a new department the Ministry of Labour performing an administrative role, and the relationship of both over establishment matters with the Treasury. The study assesses the roles of individual Administrative Class civil servants in the three departments from the rank of Principal to Permanent Secretary: with particular reference to the relationships existing between the Permanent Secretaries of the two departments and the Permanent Secretaries of the Treasury and their Controllers of Establishments. This is followed by an assessment of the work of the Treasury Establishment Division during the first 14 years of its existence from 1919 to 1933, comparing the work of the Standing Committee of Establishment Officers with the Home Office and Ministry of Labour reorganisation of their administrative staff during the same period. This is followed by an assessment made from examining the years of growth in the two Departments from 1933 to 1939 and the relationship of the Home Office and the Ministry of Labour with a reorganised Treasury Establishment Division. The study finishes with the examination of the changing needs of the two Departments during the war years from 1939 to 1945: with their extended roles when the Home Office took on administrative as well as regulatory roles in contrast to the Ministry of Labour (and National Service after September 1939) taking on regulatory as well as administrative roles. The role of the Treasury Establishment Division after the retirement of Warren Fisher in 1939 is measured against the impact that wartime staffing needs brought to the Division. The thesis concludes, first, that the restraints of the Treasury Establishment Division on establishment matters did not differ greatly over the claims made by the two Departments, despite their different historical backgrounds in the Home Civil Service, and their contrasting roles. Second, the effect of these restraints would have had a greater, and possibly harmful, impact in 1939 had the Home Office not quickly changed its incestuous establishment policy and adopted the Fisher concept (originally formulated in 1919) for the interchange of Administrative Class civil servants between departments; whilst, in contrast, the Ministry of Labour was able to adapt its pre-war administrative role to meet the requirements of its extended wartime role. Third, that the personality, style and political attitudes of the individual Permanent Secretaries had small effect on the success (or otherwise) of their dealing with the Treasury Establishment Division. This final conclusion is drawn from the effects of Ministerial intervention on establishment matters concerning individual Administrative Class civil servants.