HC Deb 13 February 1917 vol 90 cc439-40
47. Mr. KING

asked the Prime Minister whether he will explain the personnel, work, and cost of the new secretariat which has been established in order to transmit information and instructions to and from the War Council and the various State Departments?

The CHANCELLOR of the EXCHEQUER (Mr. Bonar Law)

The personnel of the War Cabinet secretariat consists of a secretary and ten assistant secretaries with a clerical staff. The secretary and five of the assistant secretaries previously formed the secretariat of the War Committee and Committee of Imperial Defence. The work of the new secretariat is a development on extended lines of that carried out by the secretariat of the Committee of Imperial Defence. The estimated annual cost of the whole secretariat is £13,964, of which £5,289, the estimate for the staff of the Committee of Imperial Defence, is borne on Treasury Vote, and the remainder, the cost of the additional War Cabinet staff, is borne on the Vote of Credit.


Are these temporary appointments or ordinary Civil Service appointments? Supposing the War finishes soon, as we all hope it may, what will happen to them?


I understand they are temporary appointments.


Is a secretary or an assistant secretary entitled to make the minutes of the War Cabinet available to the Press?


Certainly not.


Then can the right hon. Gentleman explain how it is that they were made available to a London daily paper last week?