88. Lieut.-Colonel Sir F. HALL
asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Munitions what was the total expenditure incurred by the Munitions Disposal Board during the six months ended 31st October, 1920; what is the estimated value of the stores still to be disposed of; when the work of the Board will be completed; and whether the Ministry will then come to an end?
The expenditure of the Disposal Board for seven months from 1st April to 31st October, 1920, including a due proportion of the cost of Ministry of Munitions Departments that are not entirely engaged on disposal work, is, approximately, £3,000,000. This sum is, of course, covered many times over by the receipts brought into the Exchequer by the Board. The stores ultimately to be disposed of have not in all cases been reported, e.g., in Mesopotamia, owing to military operations. The valuation of stocks recently declared surplus by other Departments is now proceeding, but it is not possible to give an estimate as to their value or to state when the work of disposal will be completed.
Sir F. HALL
If it is impossible to give any estimate as to the surplus stocks they have got in hand, how is it possible to give the figures we have had in the discussion of the Ministry's Vote, such a large amount being surplus?
Obviously, the value of the surplus can only be determined by the market value when it is sold.
Sir F. HALL
But if the hon. Gentleman does not know what he has got left, how can he tell the value of it?