Select Committee on Public Service Report


Restructuring of Government Departments before the 1970 White Paper


(i)  Defence

The Admiralty, War Office and Air Ministry were abolished in 1964, and their functions were transferred to the Ministry of Defence (which had been created in 1947).

(ii)  Social Security

The Ministry of Pensions had been joined with the Ministry of National Insurance, to form the MPNI In 1953. In 1966 it was joined with the National Assistance Board, to form the Ministry of Social Security. In 1968 it was further joined with the Ministry of Health to become the Department of Health and Social Security.

(iii)  The Post Office

In 1967 a White Paper was published called The Reorganisation of the Post Office; it proposed that the Post Office should be freed from day-to-day ministerial control and encouraged to adopt a more dynamic managerial style in pursuit of its commercial objectives. In 1969 the Post Office ceased to be a ministerial department and became a public corporation; this change reduced the number of civil servants substantially at a single stroke. The functions which remained when the public corporation was established became the responsibility of the newly created (1969) Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications.

(iv)  Miscellaneous

For example, in 1967 Social Survey, formerly part of the Central Office of Information, became a separate department, reporting to Treasury ministers. This followed a recommendation of the Heywood Committee on Social Studies which reported in February 1965.

In 1969, the Department of Economic Affairs (created in 1964) was abolished, and functions were transferred to the Treasury, the Board of Trade and to the new Department of Employment.

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