HC Deb 20 April 1921 vol 140 cc1875-6
67. Major KELLEY

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies the number of the staff he took out to the Near East; the cost of the same; if the amount will appear as a special Estimate; and will the House have the opportunity of discussing it?

The SECRETARY of STATE for the COLONIES (Mr. Churchill)

The staff who accompanied me from the Middle Eastern Department of the Colonial Office numbered four. The cost attributable to myself and them cannot be precisely stated until accounts have been passed. In addition, the Air Ministry and the War Office sent certain representatives. The expenditure up to 31st March was borne by the Vote for Colonial Services. Expenditure since that date falls on the Vote for Middle Eastern Services, an estimate of which has been presented to the House, and can be discussed when that Vote is taken.


Will the right hon. Gentleman be prepared, in the Air Estimates Debate to-morrow, to make a statment as to the result of his inspection of the air position in Egypt?


My hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Air asked me to be on this Bench in case questions are raised in connection with the Colonial Office and the Air Ministry. There are several questions connected with that, and I shall be in my place.


May I give notice that I shall ask a question, and I hope he will be prepared to discuss it?


Is it not possible for the right hon. Gentleman to say what it cost?


I really do not know. It was 'done in the most economical and correct manner, and the whole expense will be accessible to the House when the Estimates are presented.


Is the right hon. Gentlemen satisfied that his visit took place at the psychological time?

Lieut.-Commander KENWORTHY

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that no money will be grudged on this side of the House for such an expedition or any more such expeditions?

68. Mr. C. WHITE

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies when he will be in a position to make a statement with regard to the results of his mission to the Middle East?


There are considerable financial readjustments to be made between Departments in preparing the new Vote for which I am to take responsibility, but I hope to be able to make a statement and introduce the Vote early next month.


Shall we have an Estimate of the expenditure to be incurred in Mesopotamia and Palestine?


Yes. More than that, I hope to present a definite Vote to the House for the cost this year, which will be less than the cost that has been put before the House. I hope, in addition, to give some indication of how the cost in future years will be regulated.