§ 45. Lieutenant-Colonel POWNALL
asked the Prime Minister whether his attention has been called to paragraph 35 of the Fourth Interim Report of the Committee appointed to inquire into the organisation and staffing of Government offices, dealing with the limitations, as regards staff, of the Department of 1188 Overseas Trade; whether, in view of the great importance of giving every opportunity for the increase of our overseas trade, he will give facilities for the strengthening of the staff in question; and whether he is yet in a position to say when the Department in question will be properly housed, as suggested in the above-mentioned Report?
My attention has been called to the paragraph in question and also to the subsequent paragraph dealing with the duplication of work between the Department of Overseas Trade and the Board of Trade. Until the latter question is settled satisfactorily I am unable to give a final decision as to the whole staff of the Department of Overseas Trade, but a considerable addition of staff is being allowed in the meantime. I think, speaking from memory, the staff is about 400 at the present time. In the present difficult position with regard to the housing of Government Departments generally, I cannot state definitely when it will be possible to move this Department to more suitable quarters, but the matter is under consideration by the First Commissioner of Works.
§ Colonel WEDGWOOD
May I ask my right hon. Friend the Leader of the House whether, in view of this admitted overlapping, the War Cabinet cannot pay some attention to this matter, and so prevent further waste of the taxpayers' money?
§ Mr. BONAR LAW (Leader of the House)
We are paying attention to it; we had a long discussion about it yesterday.
§ 46. Lieutenant-Colonel POWNALL
asked the Prime Minister whether he is able to publish the Report of the Sub-committee of the Committee appointed to inquire into the organisation and staffing of Government offices, which has recently reported on the Department of Overseas Trade?
The Reports of the inspecting panels appointed by the Committee on Staffs were made to that Committee and formed the subject-matter in respect of which evidence was taken both from the inspectors themselves and representatives of the Departments concerned. The contents of these Reports are very fully summarised in the Committee's own reports, and I do not think that there would be any advantage in publishing the separate reports of the inspecting panels.