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been a marked tendency in public administration in recent years for the concentration of similar functions in the hands of one expert department, and there can be no doubt that as a rule. such concentration makes for efficiency and economy. This is certainly true in regard to printing operations. With a number of Government printing establishments under one control it is possible in the first place to bring to bear on each a higher standard of technical direction and business management than would normally be available for a number of separately controlled establishments, and, secondly, for this expert management to frame and put into operation schemes for making the most economical use of the premises and plant available. A small printing press independently managed may be showing excellent financial results when the printing assigned to it is of such a character that an even load of work can be maintained-indeed under such conditions a press can hardly fail to show a profitand yet, if the whole of that work could be used to fill up slack times in the working of a larger establishment, it would clearly be advantageous financially to close the smaller press and transfer the work to the larger one. In our opinion, therefore, any review of the Government printing establishments which are not being managed by the Stationery Office should start with a strong presumption in favour of centralisation of control in the hands. of that department.

Proceeding on these lines, we recommend that the Post Office Savings Bank Press and the Ordnance Committee Press at Woolwich be transferred to Stationery Office control. While we believe that large economies can be made by closing the Savings Bank Press and transferring the work to Harrow-the bulk of it being of a character peculiarly suitable for filling up slack times in a large printing establishment-we are content to leave this question to be decided in the light of experience under unified control. Other Military and Naval presses are of small size and, owing to their distance from London and to other considerations, little economy and some inconvenience would probably result from bringing them under Stationery Office control. In so far as there is a case for continuing these presses at all-and this question might be examined by the departments concerned-we agree that they should continue on the present footing.

There remain the Inland Revenue Press and the small presses. in the Museums. The former combines work of a fiscal character, such as the stamping of legal documents which must continue to be carried out at Somerset House or in the near vicinity, with the printing of postal stamps, stamping of cheques and stationery and ordinary letterpress printing. We recommend that all except the stamping of legal documents be transferred to the Stationery Office factory at Harrow, likewise the printing work now carried on in the Museums. We cannot agree with our colleagues that the Stationery Office presses should be definitely barred on principle from undertaking certain classes of printing, even where this course would result in increased efficiency and economy.

We would conclude this part of our observations by stating that on the general questions of the assignment of work to the Government factories and of their possible extension, we think that the main consideration should be the financial results obtained. We attach little importance to laying down meticulous conditions as to how the State printing factories should be allowed to tender for State work or exactly what proportion of the total State printing should be assigned to them. The essential point to secure is that the work assigned to the factories is valued as far as possible at what it would cost to get it done outside. If the Controller of the Stationery Office allocates work to his factories at a lower price than it costs him to execute it, or if he oversteps the optimum proportion for that allocation; in both cases the profits of the factories will be reduced. The results achieved hitherto leave us in no doubt that the efficiency and initiative of the State factories are in no way inferior to that of the best managed private concerns.



As a result of the evidence we have received and the investigations of our Sub-Committee and ourselves at Southampton, we have reached the definite conclusion that the existing system under which the reproduction of maps as well as the field survey is under military management is not calculated to secure the maximum efficiency. Whatever may be the case for the maintenance of the field organisation on a military basis, the production of maps from the drawings produced by the surveyors is a technical printing operation and it is important that it should be carried on under the most skilled technical control available to the GovernIn the Report of our Sub-Committee (page 159), which has been adopted unanimously by our colleagues (page 5), the view is expressed "that the production side of the work of the Ordnance Survey would benefit materially by being placed in some way or other under the supervision of the Printing Department of the Stationery Office, at any rate on the commercial and financial side." That Department is already engaged in the closely allied business of the production of charts, and many of the questions of management arising in regard to the printing either of maps or of charts arise also in connection with the State Printing Factories.

We recommend, therefore, that the responsibility for all stages in the actual printing of Ordnance maps, i.e., subsequent to the completion of the drawings by the Ordnance Survey, should be transferred to the Stationery Office. With the responsibility for engraving and printing, etc., would naturally go the responsibility for the storage and sale of the finished maps.

In making these recommendations we are not unmindful of the advantages of close collaboration between the survey staff and the printing staff, and we fully recognise the necessity for its

continuance, but we do not consider that this need be in any way impeded by the change.

Under the arrangement we suggest the cost of printing Ordnance Survey Maps (including the cost of paper) would be transferred to the Vote for Stationery and Printing, and receipts from sales and royalties would be credited to the same Vote.

As to what maps should be issued by the Government, the prices at which they should be sold and the general question of competition with outside map printers, we make no recommendations, the Committee having been authoritatively informed that these matters are not within their terms of reference.


While the production of charts is a very similar process to the production of maps, the vital importance of accuracy in a chart introduces certain special considerations. In the interests of safety at sea the strongest precautions possible must obviously be taken to secure that the results of marine surveys and data as to lights and buoys are accurately reproduced, and that maps issued to the Navy or sold to the public are up to date. We are satisfied that in every important respect the present system under which charts are printed by the Stationery Office in a Government factory at Cricklewood is an advantage over that previously in operation under which the work was entrusted to a contractor, but we are nevertheless of opinion that the arrangements, though now working smoothly, might be improved in certain respects.

At the time our evidence on this point was taken there was a division of responsibility for the technical processes of map production. The majority of the plates were prepared under Admiralty direction by engravers working at home and the plates so produced were then passed to the factory at Cricklewood for storage and printing. On the other hand, photographic processes and the preparation of lithographic and zinc originals were entirely carried out at Cricklewood. For these various processes to be used each to the best advantage, we regard it as essential that the control. of every stage of production subsequent to the completion of the drawings by the Hydrographic Department should be in one Department. That Department should clearly be the one responsible for the technical processes of printing of all kinds. We also consider that the arrangement whereby the engraving of charts, including confidential charts, is carried on by engravers in their own homes instead of at the chart factory should be brought to an end at an early date.

We understand that during the course of our enquiry steps have been taken both to place the responsibility for all engraving in the hands of the Stationery Office and also to reduce the amount of home work.

It would naturally follow from the vesting of full responsibility for the printing of charts in the Stationery Office that that Department should also assume entire responsibility for the safety of the copper plates from which the charts are in the main

produced, either directly or by means of a zinc or litho copy. The case for continuing these plates under Admiralty custody rests, we consider, on very poor foundation. We are of course fully aware that the information on some of these plates is highly confidential, but the Stationery Office are responsible for the safe custody of documents even more confidential in character in carrying out their work of letterpress printing, and they are necessarily entrusted with the plates for printing purposes in the daytime. Generally speaking, the danger to be guarded against is the loss of a printed copy rather than that of a plate which would immediately be apparent.

We recommend further that the responsibility for storage, correction and sale of the printed charts should also be transferred to the Stationery Office. At the present time the Stationery Office, when printing from a chart have no knowledge of the numbers in stock and are unable to exercise their own judgment as to the number to be printed at one time. Small runs are admittedly more expensive to print, especially when the smaller number may make the difference between printing by machinery from a zinc transfer and printing by hand from the copper plate. For economical working it is essential to have printing and sale under one control. Only in this way can a due balance be preserved between the saving effected by longer runs and the extra cost of correcting by hand copies of such an issue remaining in stock after corrections have been notified by the Admiralty.

With a view to guaranteeing that all issues of charts satisfactorily embody the information furnished by the Hydrographic Department, we recommend that a copy of every new issue should be supplied for Admiralty approval before the issue is placed on sale to the public.

Receipts from the sale of charts as of other Government publications would under these proposals be credited to the Stationery Office Vote.



7th March, 1927.


Reservation by Sir H. N. Bunbury, K.C.B.

In regard to the future of the Admiralty Chart Factory at Cricklewood and the Map Production Department of the Ordnance Survey at Southampton, I find myself in agreement with Mr. Bowerman and Mr. Hurst, on the general ground that productive and distributive efficiency is more likely to be secured by the Stationery Office, which exists, and is organised for, the production and distribution of printing and other reproduced matter, than in the hands of the Admiralty and the Ordnance Survey

Branch of the Royal Engineers, respectively, to which Departments these activities can only be in the nature of side shows. The Chart Production Factory at Cricklewood has already been under Stationery Office management for some four or five years; and although the line of demarcation between that Department and the Admiralty could be more conveniently drawn, there is nothing to show that it would have been better, or even as well, managed had it been made an Admiralty establishment. At the Ordnance Survey Establishment at Southampton the Sub-Committee were impressed with the need for expert direction such as would be afforded by Stationery Office management. In laying stress on this point I do not wish to imply any reflection upon the officers locally responsible for production and distribution, who have clearly worked hard to carry out the policy laid down by the Olivier Committee.

With regard to the Hare Street Printing Works (recommendation 13, page 141), my concurrence in the conclusion of the majority of the Committee is subject to the condition that no additional burden will be placed upon the taxpayer by closing the factory. It is clear that in the last few years the output at Hare Street has cost the taxpayer less than it would have cost him had the contracts been given out to private contractors at the time when they were assigned to Hare Street. Whether that state of affairs will continue is uncertain; and it may prove cheaper to transfer part of the work to Harrow, where production costs are lower than at Hare Street, and the rest, including the Debates, to the trade It seems, however, essential that the market should be tested. before a decision to close the works is definitely taken, and that that decision should be made in the light not only of the offers received but of the probability of equally favourable offers being obtainable from the trade over a long period. The work assigned to Hare Street is largely of a kind which does not attract the printing trade generally. Moreover, owing to the peculiar conditions which govern the work, the convenience of Parliament is likely on the whole to be better served if the Parliamentary Debates are printed in and distributed from a Government establishment, than if the work is re-transferred to a private firm. It seems important, therefore, that if the Hare Street factory is to be closed some substantial countervailing advantage such as economy should be secured.


7th March, 1927.


Reservation by the Hon. E. C. Harmsworth.

I have signed the Report on the ground that it contains much that I approve. I desire, however, to register certain reservations because the Report does in effect condone a partial continuance of the system of State Printing.

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