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17 March, 1927.]

Sir LIONEL EARLE, K.C.B., K.C.V.O., C.M.G., and Mr. J. A. W. BUCHANAN, C.B.E.


837. But the Colchester Corporation might not be a very responsible body 100 years hence. Is that allowed for in the deed? Oh yes, absolutely. They have pledged themselves to preserve it for all time. It never can be touched. And of course it is still scheduled.

838. Yes, I appreciate that.-We could at once take steps against the Corporation if they ever did anything in the least harmful.

839. If they attempted to sell it you could, but you could not take steps under the schedule if they turned it into a park? We could take steps if they did not look after it properly.

840. You are satisfied it is properly protected?-Absolutely.

Mr. Gillett.

841. With regard to item I on page 86, in connection with the reduction in the expenditure on fuel, light and household articles, do you expect that will be continued, or will there be an increase in the estimates for the present year?— There will be no increase.

842. On different pages in this account I see expenditure dealing with the residences of coastguards?—That is


843. Are those new dwellings or what? -They are the old buildings which were handed over by the Admiralty to the Board of Trade, and the Board of Trade handed them over to the Office of Works

to look after. A great many of them are let when not used during war time. 844. You are not making a larger provision for coastguards?-There are certain places where the authorities have said that certain watching stations are necessary, and those have been provided.

845. A number of years ago the coastguard cottages in many cases were got rid of. What I wanted to know was whether now the number of coastguards has been increased to any extent and you are making larger provision of residences for them?-No, I think they are diminished. We have been able to get rid of a great many of the residences. Those that have to be retained in certain centres in case of another disaster we let on short terms to people who pay very good rents for them because they are situated on the edge of a cliff or in some situation of that sort.

Mr. Briggs.

846. I see item C. on page 85 refers to premises occupied for War Services. I thought we had finished with all War Services last year?-There are a few still remaining. There are some compensations still which are not quite settled. They are closing them up I think this year.

847. In the note to item K on the following page there is a reference to the reinstatement of furniture in buildings Was I in occupied during the war. error in thinking that last year was to be the last time we were to see references in the accounts to these War Services? They are taking steps to try to close down all these compensation cases at the earliest possible moment.

848. Are there many cases still outstanding?-Not very many of ours.

849. We shall not see much of them in these accounts again?-No.

850. On page 94 I see an item with regard to the provision of additional accommodation in Government Offices in Downing Street. What is that additional accommodation?-That was the extra accommodation required for the Foreign Office. When Mr. Ramsay MacDonald was Prime Minister all the great reception rooms were partitioned off for war staffs, and he decided that those great rooms which are necessary for conferences for instance, the Locarno Conference was held there ought to be put back into a condition such as they were in before the war, otherwise the duties of the Foreign Secretary would be greatly hampered at times. So that in order to provide the additional accommodation we had to build an extra storey, which can only be seen from the courtyard, on the roof of the Foreign Office. All those big rooms-the old Cabinet room and the big reception rooms have been released.

851. It was not being able to see anything that made me ask the question.The India Office have done it on their side, and the Foreign Office have now got it on theirs. It cannot be seen from the street.

852. I see on page 105 under the heading of the Air Ministry there is a reference to the provision of accommodation at Gwydyr House. What type of accommodation was that? I thought they had ample accommodation at Gwydyr House?-It had to be converted when

17 March, 1927.]

Sir LIONEL EARLE, K.C.B., K.C.V.O., C.M.G., and Mr. J. A. W. BUCHANAN, C.B.E.

the Air Minister and headquarter staff decided it was necessary to move to the Whitehall district on account of the constant relations they had with the Admiralty and War Office. They found the situation they had before at Kingsway was impossible, and the Government decided that was a fair and reasonable demand.

853. Was this a reinstatement then?No. It meant alteration of rooms, and providing certain accommodation that was necessary for the Parliamentary Secretary and the Minister, the accommodation which was suitable when occupied by subordinate staff not being adequate for them, of course. It meant re-decoration and all kinds of things to enable the Minister and staff to go there. There was quite a different class of person occupying the accommodation, you see, when the Minister himself and his immediate advisers went there.

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856. On what?-Various services. (Sir Lionel Earle.) But there was no actual new work done last year or being done at the present moment. I mean, there are no further unemployment relief sums taken in my vote.

857. I see. Recurring to the purchase of the Colchester earthworks, I understood you were going to have a Bill introduced into Parliament, and it was decided it should not be presented?My view was that we should have very little chance of getting that Bill through unless either compensation or some consideration of purchase, or something of that sort, was offered to this owner who was going to suffer very heavy pecuniary loss by the interference by the Department with his property. I communicated with the Treasury and they took the same view. But they said they could not agree to compensation, but would consider purchase, and they instructed me


to get the best possible terms I could out of this gentleman. His demands originally were a great deal more than double the amount shown in this account.

858. But the Treasury have leave to purchase up to £10,000, have they not, without the sanction of Parliament?(Mr. Watson.) The Treasury does proceed with urgent services in anticipation of Parliamentary authority.

859. There was no leave from Parliament?-There was no authority from Parliament in this case. But with the general concurrence of Parliament the Treasury does proceed with urgent services up to any amount.

860. I do not see why this an:ount should come on the taxpayer. Why should it not come on the Colchester Corporation or the County?-(Sir Lionel Earle.) Because it is a thing of great national importance. It is a thing in which the whole country is interested.

861. Is the vallum finer than the Hadrian Wall vallums?-It is very difficult to compare. It is probably the most unique thing of the sort in this country. 862. It seems unnecessary expenditure in these times. You can buy many good vallums of the Hadrian Wall.-I can only tell honourable Members that we do infinitely less in these respects than any other country in Europe with the exception of the Balkan States and Turkey.

863. But we are more heavily taxed than any other country. In item R. on page 87, "Stores to be purchased,' there is a big excess. I notice the footnote on page 91. Is there anything further to say?-It was merely that the things were purchased that year instead of postponing it to the next year. (Mr. Buchanan.) It is only a difference as between two years.

864. On page 91 I find references to the Houses of Parliament Buildings, and also Works and Buildings in Ireland?--Those items show the details of the issues of stores from the Office of Works for various services.

865. Take Works and Buildings in Ireland. Have you any further details with regard to that? Does it apply to Northern Ireland?-Northern Ireland. We are not concerned with the Free State.

866. What does this refer to?-Various issues of stores for Imperial and Reserved Services in Northern Ireland.

17 March, 1927.]

Sir LIONEL EARLE, K.C.B., K.C.V.O., C.M.G., and Mr. J. A. W. BUCHANAN, C.B.E.

867. Have we to pay for them?-Yes. In regard to the Reserved Services there is an arrangement by which these are set against the Irish Taxation Account.

868. The item referring to the Houses of Parliament Buildings refers to this House? Yes. That is a very good estimate, as you will see.

$69. I am not considering the estimate; I am considering the expenditure. (Mr. Watson.) The details appear on other Votes. For example, on Vote 14 dealing with Works and Buildings in Ireland. The works are shown there in detail for which these stores are issued. It is simply a general pooling of the stores in Vote 10, and they are issued to the other Votes which require them. (Sir Malcolm Ramsay.) And paid for from those Votes.

870. I see there is a large excess in Item 16 on page 95 with regard to the adaptation of hospital buildings at Liverpool in connection with the Ministry of Pensions. Have you anything else to say on that? (Sir Lionel Earle.) It is only an excess on this particular year. (Mr. Buchanan.) The total excess on the whole work was merely £447 on an estimate of £9.465. The excess of £2,438 as shown in the account is merely on the year.


871. I notice on page 99 there is this item: "Harrow, Stationery Office Press: Extension"; and there also two other items on the same Vote with regard to Harrow. Can you explain that a little more fully? Harrow also appears on pages 104 and 107, "Harrow Press: Heating," and "Harrow Press: New Roads."? (Sir Lionel Earle.) What information is it you want?

872. Can you give me any further information than is contained in the notes? What is this extension ?-(Mr. Buchanan.) To allow of extension of the work there.

873. Are they increasing their buildings?-Yes, and a supplementary estimate was taken for it.

874. With regard to the new roads, is there anything further to say about that? -Sir Lionel Earle.) I could let you know what that is. I think it is evidently the approaches to the building.

875. Harrow is costing a tremendous lot of money. There is also the item of the heating. I thought Harrow was heated?-(Sir Malcolm Ramsay.) They had to add to the factory. That is the cost of making an addition to the fac


tory, mainly on account of the extra work they had to do in connection with the telephone directory.


876. I gather that Sir Fredric Wise would like on the items which have been mentioned relating to Harrow a more detailed statement. It will be quite easy to put that in?-(Sir Lionel Earle.) Quite so. You would like that statement on the items on the three pages you have mentioned?

877. An analysis of the figures which we already have before us?--Certainly.*

Major Salmon.


878. Are these expenses charged to the Stationery Vote and the Harrow Printing Works as a capital account or current account? (Mr. Watson.) They will come into the capital account. The total cost is about £32,000.

879. That will appear on the commercial accounts?-That is so.

880. I notice that under Item I on page 86, Fuel, Light, and Household Articles are merged together in one When figure amounting to £270,000.

one turns to the note on Item i it appears that gas is charged to Sub-head C?(Mr. Buchanan.) That is for power pur


881. The point I wanted to ask was this. Would it not be more satisfactory if you were to keep household articles separate from fuel and light, which, after all, have nothing in common in helping you to make any comparison?-That point has been taken up in connection with the estimates for the coming year. The estimates will show the details under the various heads, fuel, light, and household articles, so that you will have those details available.

882. Therefore, next year when we have this account we shall see it differently arranged?—No, not next year; the year after. (Sir Lionel Earle.) I think we are doing the same thing with regard to furniture, because there is so much mixed up under the heading of "Furniture " that it is very misleading.


883. With regard to the question of electricity, there seemed to be on the last occasion a difficulty in presenting any account to this Committee, or making

* See Appendix 7.

17 March, 1927.]

Sir LIONEL EARLE, K.C.B., K.C.V.O., C.M.G., and Mr. J. A. W. BUCHANAN, C.B.E.

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884. On page 93 you show an expenditure of £48,000 odd in connection with the Rampton State Institution for Mental Deficients. Am I right in saying that the reason you are extending Rampton is to enable you to close the temporary institution at Warwick?-That is a question for the Home Office. They administer Rampton. We merely carry out the demands.

885. You merely carry out their demands without the faintest idea of what you are doing them for?-We have to trust the Department doing these things. The Minister is responsible. (Mr. Stocks.) The Treasury have a general scheme, and Rampton has been exercising us a great deal, because there has been a very serious state of things there. The cost of Rampton has been rising very greatly. We considered it again and again, but we could not keep it down, because the number of deficients is increasing so rapidly. It really is a race between the deficients and the buildings.

886. It sounds very bad from the point of view of the nation?-No doubt, but that is the position.

887. Am I wrong in thinking that when you have enlarged Rampton you do not propose to continue Warwick?I am afraid I do not remember that particular point. (Sir Malcolm Ramsay.) It is the case that ultimately they wish to extend Rampton so as to get rid of Warwick where they have about 50 women in the old prison.

888. Who is the ruling authority as regards that? You, I presume, are aware whether it is the intention to abolish Warwick when Rampton is enlarged? (Mr. Stocks.) If I looked up our files I could tell you, but I am afraid I do not remember.


889. I would like to know whether you consider the work at Warwick so urgent that it is necessary to spend this £250 which is shown on page 105 in making some additions to the Chaplain's house. I do not quite understand that. I do not know what the £18 6s. 6d. means. The estimate is shown as £430, and the expenditure to 31st March, 1926, £252 ? -(Mr. Buchanan.) The £18 6s. 6d. is expenditure in the year 1925-26.

890. You say the expenditure on the year is £252?-This figure covers also the expenditure in the previous year.

891. I see. I presume that was of so urgent a nature that it had to be done even though there was a possibility in a year or two that the building would not be used for its present purposes at all? (Mr. Stocks.) I am afraid that is for the Office of Works. (Sir Lionel Earle.) I could let you know about that. I do not know the actual case myself, but I will send in a note about it, if you like.

892. I should like to know, as I am given to understand from the work 1 am doing on the other Committee that the Warwick Institution is being abolished, and that that is the object of enlarging Rampton. I should like to know why this work was so urgent that £250 has been spent upon it when in all probability it will be done away with in a year or two.


893. A note upon that could easily be put in afterwards?-Yes., certainly.*

Sir Assheton Pownall.

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894. With regard to the item of "Miscellaneous Public Services on page 91, I see that the estimated value of the issues is given as £48,000, while the actual value of the issues is £15,000. Is there any explanatory note about that very big difference? (Sir Malcolm Ramsay.) The demand was one-third of what they expected.

895. As a rule, the estimating in these accounts has been so close that the difference of £32,000 in this case appears very large? (Mr. Buchanan.) These services are of a repayment character. Departments advise us at the beginning of the year what they estimate their

*See Appendix 8.

17 March, 1927.]

Sir LIONEL EARLE, K.O.B., K.C.V.O., C.M.G., and Mr. J. A. W. BUCHANAN, C.B.E.

requirements will be, but the Ministry of Labour fell very much short because they closed several factories and other establishments.

Mr. Ellis.

896. Might I ask the Treasury this question on the matter about mental deficients? The point was raised just now that there had been an increase in the number of deficients. Is it not a fact that owing to a re-grading in that kind of medical work a good many who were hitherto classed as defectives have now become deficients? (Mr. Stocks.) I do not know.

897. You took the point that there had been a considerable increase in the number of deficients. Is it an actual increase, or comparing one with the other is it merely an increase from one class to another?-I am afraid I could not answer that question.

Sir John Marriott.

898. Reverting to Item 11 on page 94 in connection with the provision of additional accommodation in Government Offices at Downing Street, I was not clear from what you said about that, Sir Lionel, whether there was an actual increase of accommodation, or whether it was simply a restoration of certain rooms which had been adapted during the War for other purposes?-(Sir Lionel Earle.) The staff during the War and afterwards, on account of the largely increased activities of the Foreign Office owing to its having to deal with many separate new


countries, had naturally grown. The great reception rooms were partitioned off for the staffs of various sorts, and it was decreed that those rooms should be released for the purposes of conferences and other things which the Foreign Office have to engage in, and therefore fresh accommodation had to be found for those people who were displaced from the big reception rooms. The only thing that could be done to suit the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs was to build a new attic on the roof which has provided accommodation for all those officials who hitherto had been in these partitioned


899. In other words, it was not temporary accommodation, but permanent additional accommodation that was required?-Permanent additional accom


900. That was the point I wanted to ascertain. Have not those staffs been largely diminished since the War?-They are very much smaller than they were during the War, but they are very much larger than they were before the War. There is infinitely heavier work in the Foreign Office than before the War, and that is very understandable when you consider the Treaty of Versailles alone, because of the number of new countries that have been created.

901. But that also diminishes some of the previous work, does it not? The new countries have only been carved out of the old ones. We have not added to the geography of the world?-No, but you have added an enormous number of new Missions.



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reduction when these activities cease. There have been certain reductions of staff. I can give you the numbers if you like, but they would be given on the Establishment Vote.

904. Have you the numbers now?—The Committee will remember that I put in a Paper last year on the number of staff for the years 1925-26 and 1926-27. The actual number of staff that have gone during the last year have been 73. There has been an increase of one and a decrease of 73, which is a decrease of 72 on balance.

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