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19 May, 1927.]
Sir HENRY A. PAYNE, K.B.E., C.B., and
like the position, say, of the Metropolitan Water Board? I do not say it is completely analogous.
4927. One is entirely statutory surely, and the other has grown up as a body of custom ?-Both are regulated by Statute to a certain extent.
4928. Within limits?-Yes.
Sir Malcolm Macnaghten. 4929. Anyhow, Parliament did vote £30,000 and they did not spend it?— (Mr. Headland.) They only spent £5,000. (Sir Henry Payne.) I think I made one mistake. I said that we fixed the light dues alone. In fact the proposal has to be laid before Parliament for 30 days before the light dues come into force.
4930. But we cannot do anything?I am not sure about that.
4931. Is it not laid on the table like an Order which can be objected to?—Yes.
Sir Robert Hamilton.
4932. One question with regard to the Red Sea lighthouses. Are there any dues received in respect of them?—None at present.
4933. How long is that going on?We are endeavouring to make some arrangement now, as a matter of fact.
4934. Are the dues being collected?No. There never were any special duos collected in respect of them.
4935. From the time we took them over, have we just carried on the work without collecting any dues?—Yes.
4936. Is an arrangement likely to be come to now?-Well, I hope so. It means an international arrangement.
4937. Year after year we are paying. Of course, our shipping largely benefits, I realise that, but we are paying the whole expense and no other nation contributes?-No other nation contributes. We are endeavouring to come to an arrangement now.
ON VOTE 12.
Sir Fredric Wise.
4938. I notice on page 180 there is an item of "Dividends, £42,000." Is that all in Government stocks?-(Sir Henry Payne.) Yes.
4939. In the Bankruptcy Department do the fees pay for the expenditure?— They do now. They did not a year or two ago. If you take all the allied ex
OF THE BOARD OF TRADE. penditure as well they did not. But they pay everything at the moment within one per cent.
4940. Are the expenses up?-As compared with 1914, yes, I think they are up. They are not up anything like in proportion to the amount which the number of Receiving Orders is up.
4941. Not in the same ratio?—I think the total cost might be. I have not compared that. But the staff is not up to the same extent.
ON VOTE 5.
MERCHANT SEAMEN'S WAR PENSIONS.
TRADING ACCOUNTS AND BALANCE SHEETS, 1925-26.
War Risks Insurance Account, pp. 150 and 151.
statement? (Sir Malcolm Ramsay.)
the Insurance Schemes. A profit of
4942. Paragraph 15 of your report on That paragraph states the outcome of this Account, Sir Malcolm, is simply a
19 May, 1927.]
Sir HENRY A. PAYNE, K.B.E., C.B., and Mr. R. V. HEADLAND, O.B.E.
4945. With regard to Reparation Dyes which are referred to on page 155 of the Trading Accounts, I see it says there that the loss for the year, amounting to £30,000 odd, is due to the writing down of the stocks in hand. What is the
total amount of the loss, stating it in a figure? (Sir Henry Payne.) The loss is shown on page 156.
4946. That shows a total loss of nearly £31,000?-Yes.
4947. But is that loss absolutely and entirely on the stock values taken at the prices at March, 1926?—(Mr. Headland.) Yes, entirely.
4948. Not due to any distribution ?— No.
4949. Where is the amount obtained from, which we find given in the Appropriation Accounts, namely £27,691? I am somewhat confused about the account, I confess. Seeing that you have made a loss of £30,000, where do you obtain the figure of £27,691 ?-(Sir Henry Payne.) I think loss perhaps does not express it very clearly. It was a loss on the value on which the stocks were taken into our hands, but there is no loss in the transactions made with Reparation Dyes. They are dyes handed over for reparations, and anything which they realise is all to the good.
4950. But the loss is the result of the total account, is it not? (Mr. Headland.) May I put it in this way? If we had not written down stocks this account would have shown a large profit.
4951. And then you would have appropriated £27,000 out of that profit?— That has already been done. (Sir Malcolm Ramsay.) May I intervene? In the Appropriation Accounts under Subhead T. you have the cash disbursements in
the 12 months. The figure does not represent profit or loss; it corresponds to the item shown in the Trading Account as "Commission and other disbursements £25,000."
4952. So that it is included in the balance sheet?-It is one item. Of course, the balance sheet and profit and loss are calculated on an income and expenditure basis, and therefore the figures there differ from those in the Appropriation Account which are merely cash payments within the 12 months. As regards the Vote, the debit to the Vote is balanced by an exactly equal credit under the appropriations-in-aid, the object being simply to pass an item relating to Reparation Dyes through the Vote, to give the House an opportunity of raising questions if they wish.
4953. You say that the amount of £27,000 shown in the Appropriation Account occurs in the item of "Commission and other Disbursements." I do not quite follow that, because the Commission and other Disbursements item is £25,000, whereas the amount in the Appropriation Account is £27,000?— One is the cash paid in the year, and the other is the income and expenditure figure on the other basis-the payments appropriate to the year whether made in that year or not.
4954. Perhaps it is not worth while my pursuing it. I do not quite grasp it. Is it that reparation is analogous, say, to debenture interest from a company which has really made a loss? Is it analogous to that?-This Account really shows the story. It shows the Dyes we have got, and what we have sold them for. The real figures to look at are in the Trading Account on page 156.
4955. I still do not appreciate it. Is it taken out of these balances? I see in past years the Profit and Loss Account has shown £176,000. Does it come against that?-Over the whole period, as this balance sheet on page 156 shows, we have sold the dyes after including all expenses, for £155,000 more than Germany took credit for.
4956. So that if we go on making a yearly loss of £30,000 the time could come conceivably when we should have nothing to appropriate?-But that, I think, cannot arise as the deliveries of the dyes have now ceased.
Sir MALCOLM RAMSAY, K.C.B., Mr. F. PHILLIPS, and Mr. A. E. WATSON, C.B.E., called in; and examined.
CIVIL SERVICES APPROPRIATION ACCOUNTS, 1925-26.
ON VOTE 30.
STATIONERY AND PRINTING.
Mr. W. R. CODLING, C.B., C.V.O., C.B.E., called in; and examined.
24 May, 1927.]
Mr. W. R. CODLING, C.B., C.V.O, C.B.E.
4975. How do the present numbers of your staff compare with the pre-war numbers in office and warehouse, leaving out printing? I put in a statement to the Committee last year which appears as an Appendix. There was an increase over the pre-war staff of about 1,000 in the office, and about 700 in the warehouse staff. The explanations in regard to the necessity for that increase are given on page 686 of last year's Report.
29 I see
4976. Are your present numbers increasing or decreasing?-Decreasing. 4977. With regard to Subhead I, "Miscellaneous Office Supplies,' there is a Supplementary of £21,000. What was the cause of that large Supplementary? The increased expenditure on miscellaneous office supplies was not a question of large expenditure on a few items of certain departments, but an increased consumption by departments generally.
4978. Is it an increase that you were not able to anticipate?--Yes.
4979. What does that subhead cover? Do miscellaneous office supplies cover ordinary pens, ink, and paper?-Yes, and also things like typewriters, duplicators, calculators, and other machines of that nature. Those are big items.
4980. It seems a large sum that you should not have been able to anticipate in that year?-There is a development in the public service going on in the way of the use of labour-saving appliances, and part of the increased expenditure was on labour-saving appliances on a larger scale than was foreseen.
4981. Do you say that the increased expenditure on these labour-saving appliances tends to a reduction of the staff, or does it need more staff to work them? It should tend to a reduction of the staff, and I believe the Treasury watch that very carefully and see that they do get a reduction when laboursaving appliances are put in.
4982. From your own experience would you say that it has a material effect on reducing the staff?—Yes, if properly used.
4983. That is a reservation which you are now making. Do you mean that it does in practice reduce the staff, or that it should in practice tend to a reduction if properly used?-It should, and, so far as I know, it does.
4984. Is there any ence? Oh, yes.
4985. To the extent of the extra cost? -Yes, much more than the extra cost.
4986. You can say from experience that the introduction of these laboursaving devices do save in cost?-Yes, definitely.
4987. With regard to the item on page 244,"Sales of Parliamentary Debates," I see that they were estimated to produce £3,500, and that the amount realised was £5,208. Does that mean an extra number per day were sold, or does it mean that the House sat for more days than you anticipated?—It may mean both. I think, as a matter of fact, the House did sit in that year more days than were anticipated. course, the sale of the Debates is a fluctuating quantity; it depends very much on what particularly interests the public at the time.
4988. Is that amount going up; is it greater to-day? Do you happen to have the figures for the preceding and the following year?-In 1922-23 the receipts were £4,915, in 1923-24 £3,834, in 1924-25 £4,828, and in the year under review £5,208. It is fairly constant, with a slight tendency to increase.
4989. With regard to the sums which were written off, referred to on page 245, I notice there are two items with reference to typewriters, one of them an item of £89 10s., representing the "value of eleven typewriters presumed to have been stolen while held on charge by various Public Departments." Then the next item refers to seven typewriters and two duplicators lost or destroyed by fire. I do not quite understand what is meant by the holding of those typewriters by Public Departments. What does that mean exactly? All typewriters in the Public Service are purchased at the expense of the Stationery Office Vote, and theoretically after they have been issued to departments they still remain the property of the Stationery Office. Consequently, when a typewriter is lost by theft or fire my Department has to get authority from the Treasury for the writing off.
4990. I suppose you have made all possible enquiries about these things. You are satisfied that nothing can be recovered?-Quite.