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been closed. What is the school in question that has been closed?-A short term industrial school which used to be conducted by the Glasgow School Board. It was closed some years ago, but there are still cases where there are arrears of fees outstanding.
3284. The amount seems such a small one as to be hardly worth while pursuing after some years. This amount may not, of course, represent the exact sum of the arrears?-Oh, no, it does not represent the sum of the arrears. It represents
what one has been able to get in the year. 3285. What is the outstanding amount? -It is very difficult to say without reference to the agent. I am not sure that I could say.
3286. This sum of £7 15s. 11d. under subhead H which the Chairman has referred to is not the result of the legal proceedings referred to under subhead C which cost £22, is it? No. The legal proceedings which cost £22 are to a large extent represented by the £3,000, I have no doubt.
3289. I am aware of that fact. Under the terms of the agreement apparently there has to be put aside every year out of the net rentals one-half or onetwentieth for repairs?-It is 20 per cent. It is not quite costing that as I understand now.
3290. It is not quite costing that because the houses being largely new do not cost that amount to repair?-Yes, but they are putting aside something in case of it being required later on.
3291. Under Article 25 of the agreement the Company is responsible for keeping the houses in repair to the satisfaction of the Board and the Board reserve the power to inspect. What steps do the Board take and the representatives on it to see that that work is darried out efficiently?-I am afraid I could not give you the exact steps. Of course the houses are fairly new and it is to be assumed that they do not require a great deal of repair just now; but we have a representative on it, and I understand from time to time one of our officials has gone through the place; but I am not really very well up in the matter as to the actual steps that the Board takes beyond the certificate they get from the Housing Company that the repairs are properly done.
3292. There is a certain amount of surplus land available as far as I can make out?-A feu, yes.
3293. Unused ?-Yes.
3294. I gather there are 62 acres unused belonging to the Company. Have they the power to sell that? I do not know if they have the power to sell. Of course a feu would be equivalent to that, if they could feu it. For all practical purposes a feu would be the equivalent of a sale.
3295. They are not building any more, and therefore that land is not revenueproducing at all at present. It is a dead loss. And as the whole thing is a dead loss to the State, would it not be possible to reduce that loss by trying to take
steps to feu some of that land?-I should say it would be difficult to feu some of it just now.
3296. I mean for agricultural purposes -for grazing?-There might be a little in that.
3297. There is another estate you have there?-That is another feu.
3298. Does that belong to the Admiralty or to the Board?-It is feud by the Company I think.
3299. That is also unused?—Yes.
3300. Are any steps taken to try and utilise that from a revenue point of view? -The whole community got a shock when Rosyth was shut down to a care and maintenance basis. I understand Dunfermline, which is a sort of parent town if I may say so, was rather in the dumps about the whole thing, as the chances of doing very much just now on a commercial basis are not very great because shipbuilding is not going very strongly anywhere in Scotland.
3301. So far as you know no steps have been taken to try and produce revenue from that unused land on which no further houses will be erected?-So far as I know at the moment they have not been able to do anything. I do not know that they have tried.
3302. You do not even know they have tried? I do not even know they have tried.
Sir Robert Hamilton.
3303. There is one small item I should like to ask about, with regard to the Highlands and Islands Medical Service Fund-a fund of which every penny is required. I see there was a loss on the realisation of investments of £528. Can you explain that? That is just the difference between the purchase price of certain stock and the price at which it was sold.
3304. What was the stock?-War Loan. (Mr. Watson.) It is often stock bought cum dividend.
HOUSING ACT, 1914.
WHITE PAPER, No. 137, 1926.
3305. The relevant part is on page 3.
Health, of course, and also to your connection with the Scottish National Hous
This refers to the Scottish Board of ing Company, Sir James?-Yes.
(The witnesses withdrew.)
(Adjourned to Tuesday, 3rd May, at 2.15.)
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 4.
Sir MALCOLM DELEVINGNE, K.C.B., called in; and examined.
3306. Sir Malcolm, you reply for the Home Office account, and also for a number of other accounts?-(Sir Malcolm Delevingne.) That is so.
3307. There are no reports, Sir Malcolm Ramsay, on these accounts save one, which will come up a little later?-(Sir Malcolm Ramsay.) That is so.
3308. Sir Malcolm Delevingne, there is only one question I would like to ask you on this account on page 143, and that is as regards staff. What temporary staff have you at the Home Office?-The temporary ex-Service staff who have not yet been replaced by established officers. 3309. What are their numbers? do they compare with the numbers of the permanent staff?-I am afraid I cannot give you the total. I have not brought it with me. I could send it to the Committee if the Committee wish to have it.
3310. I suppose that means you cannot give us any idea of the numbers of your temporary staff you propose to replace by permanent staff?-I think I may say that most of them have been replaced already on the regular Home Office staff. There are a certain number of temporary officers employed in some departments, such as the Aliens Department. The
replacement of the temporary ex-Service staff is a gradual process as the men pass the examination and become absorbed.
3311. They are the same men in many cases. They are temporary men and they become permanent on passing the examination?—Very frequently that is the case, yes.
3312. I should like to ask you this. One observes in the Estimates of 1927 your net increase is £13,671. When you turn to your grant of 1926 and you compare it to the grant of 1927, there is an increase of £16,903. Can you tell us how the discrepancy arises?-Are you questioning me on the Appropriation Accounts for 1925-26 ?
3313. Yes. The grant in 1926 was £418,000. That is the net total?-Yes.
3314. If you compare that with the figure you have shown for 1927, you will see that figure is £435,647?—Yes, that is the net total.
3315. If you subtract one from the other you will find an increase of £16,903. and not £13,000 odd as you state?-(Mr. Watson.) That is over two years. (Mr. Phillips.) The Appropriation Account is for the year 1925-26. The two Estimates contain the two years 1926-27 in the first column, and 1927-28 in the other column.
Chairman.] I have been under a wrong impression, Major Salmon. I thought you were referring not to the new Estimate but last year's Estimate.
Major Salmon.] I was taking the figures of the grant before us in the Home Office account on page 145. That shows £418,000, and I was comparing that with the Estimate of 1927-28.
Chairman.] Then my impression is that what Mr. Phillips says applies. You have clearly two years in the picture. But put the question if you wish to.
3316. The point I really wanted to raise was this. In making the comparison of these two figures, I find the increase is £16,903, whereas in your Estimate you say your increase is only £13,000 odd? (Sir Malcolm Delevingne.) I am afraid you have put a conundrum that I am not prepared to answer at the moment, because I am not quite sure what figures are in question. But I do not think it arises on the Appropriation Accounts.
Chairman.] I am afraid the question will have to be restated, if I may suggest it to Major Salmon. We might find out why there is an increase.
3317. Could you explain why there is an increase?--May I answer the first question first? I see that two different things are being compared. In the Estimate for the year ending 1927 the figures are for the year 1926-27 as compared with 1925-26. The figures you refer to in putting your question to me are comparing the year 1925-26 with the year 1927-28. That accounts, I think, for the difference between the two figures to which you have called my attention.
3318. Then would you explain why we have got an increase this year against last year? I think it is due to several causes. If you have the Estimates for the current year in front of you, you will see that there is a considerable increase in probation.
3319. Is it wholly due to probation?You will find that this year it is proposed to take £45,000 in respect of probation as against £32,000 in respect of last year a difference of £13,000. imagine that almost exactly corresponds to the difference which you have noticed in the figures.
3320. Is it your intention in the Department to maintain all the respective services as you have at the present time so far as the number of personnel is concerned ?-So far as I am aware, that is the intention of the Home Secretary.
3321. How does that compare with pre-War?-Well, in some branches of the Home Office the number of staff now is considerably less than it was pre-War. On the other hand, you have branches of the Home Office staff which are entirely new since the War. There is, for instance, the Aliens Department which is now, in consequence of the War and subsequent legislation, a very large subdepartment of the Home Office. It is very difficult to compare pre-War staff with post-War staff unless you divide up and compare like with like.
3322. Very well. May we take it another way? Let me take the Departments that were old Departments which were in existence pre-War, and similar Departments in existence to-day. Have you a larger staff in those Departments than pre-War?-Some yes, and some no.
3323. In which Department would it be increased?-The administrative staff of the Home Office is certainly larger than it was pre-War. The duties placed upon the Home Office now are very much larger than they used to be. On the other hand, a very important branch of the Home Office is the Factory Inspectorate, and that is less than it was pre-War. Take, again, a very small matter. Inspectors under the Cruelty to Animals Act are fewer than they were pre-War. The Inspectors under the Explosives Act are, I think, fewer than they were pre-War.
3324. Let us take your central department the administrative department. You say that that has been increased. What has necessitated that increase?— The very large increase in the duties placed on the Home Office. There is, for instance, a very important Police Division now which forms part of the administrative staff of the Home Office. That hardly existed pre-War. The duties undertaken by the Home Office in connection with the Police Forces of the country are very much wider and more important than they used to be. There is very much closer contact between the Home Office and the Police Forces of the country.
3325. Was not that done at all preWar? Yes, the Home Office, of course,
3 May, 1927.]
Sir MALCOLM DELEVINGNE, K.C.B.
ever since the Police have been established, has had a certain connection and control, but the connection now between the Home Office and the Police Forces of the country is very much closer. All the arrangements for co-operation between the Police Forces of the country and the mutual assistance in times of emergency are all organised and worked now very much in connection with the central department of the Home Office.
3326. You have become a real clearing house at last-Yes, very largely.
3327. To what extent has your administrative staff been increased?—I cannot say offhand. If the Committee wish for figures, I can get them.
3328. It is important when we go into these Appropriation Accounts that we should really be seised with the different points. You may have a very good answer to the question put to you, but it is important, in order to get an intelligent grasp of the situation, to know which of the Departments have been increased and why they have been increased?-Might I suggest that I am only the Accounting Officer of the Home Office. I do not determine the policy of the Home Office. My business is, if I understand it rightly, to answer before this Committee for the manner in which the funds voted by Parliament have been appropriated. It is not for me as Accounting Officer to answer questions which seem to be Estimate questions. Questions as to why the Home Secretary has asked for and Parliament has granted certain staffs and placed certain duties on the Home Office it is difficult for me to answer, as they are questions of policy.
3330. I am reluctant to stop any question at all, Sir Malcolm. The Committee has a perfectly clear view on the matter of policy. What Major Salmon is asking at the moment, as I understand it, is for a statement regarding the actual staff. Now that is clearly within the limits? Clearly, and that I am prepared to supply.
3331. Well, let us have the figures it you have them?—I have here a general comparison between the staffs in 1914-15, and the staffs in 1925-26, 1926-27, and 1927-28. That is a comparison which may fairly be made.
3332. Would you give us the figures?— If you take the different divisions of the Office
Sir Fredric Wise.
3333. Let us have the total?-The total for 1927-28 is 963; for 1926-27 it is 979; for 1925-26 it is 970; for 1914-15 it is 843.
3334. Of the increase of 120, how many are attributable to the new work the Department has had put on to it such as the question of, aliens ?-The aliens staff provided for in the Estimates of the current year-that is the first of the three years I gave, namely 1927-28, numbers 175.
3335. Therefore in your normal staff, on these figures, you have a lesser number than you had in 1914. Is that the position? Yes, that is practically the position. I think I told the Committee last year that practically the whole of the increase of staff as compared with pre-war is due to the Aliens Department. Of course, there are increases here and decreases elsewhere, but roughly speaking that is the situation.
3336. I suppose you have not lost any work from departments being transferred to other departments ?-Yes. When the Ministry of Mines was created, the whole of our mine work under the Mines Regulation Act was transferred to the Ministry of Mines.
3337. What staff did that transpose?— It was practically the inspecting staff. I suppose it would roughly be about 50 or 60.
3338. What other Departments have been transferred ?-Then at the time of the creation of the Ministry of Health