HC Deb 11 July 1922 vol 156 cc1048-9

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether, seeing that the post held by Sir Hardman Lever at the Ministry of Transport was created in consequence of an undertaking given by the Government during the passage of the Ministry of Transport Bill in 1019 that a Treasury official should be added to the Ministry to exercise some control over the expenditure of the Ministry during the period of railway control, he will consider whether, in view of the decontrol of the railways, it is any longer necessary to continue a post carrying a salary of £5,000 a year, now that the object for which the post was created no longer exists?

Sir J. BAIRD (for Mr. Hilton Young)

With the termination of Government control, the Ministry of Transport is left with the responsibility for settling questions of great financial magnitude still outstanding between the Government, on the one hand, and the railway companies on the other. As my right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer explained in answer to a similar question on the 3rd July, Sir George Beharrel has been specially retained for the conduct of these intricate negotiations, and discharges, in addition, the duties of the post of Director of Finance and Statistics in the Ministry, for which a salary of: £2,500 has been allotted. The special remuneration at the rate of £5,000 a year only exists until 31st December, as is shown in the Estimate submitted. The terms of Sir George Beharrels continued employment in the Ministry of Transport were fully considered, and in my right hon. Friend's judgment are thoroughly justified.


When is the Ministry of Transport to be abolished altogether?


Will this remuneration definitely cease on 30th September?


On 31st December.


May I have an answer to my little question?

Colonel ASHLEY

Do we understand that from 1st January next £2,500 a year is bring spent by the nation on this official?


The additional salary at the rate of £5,000 a year comes to an end on 31st December. The salary of the official will then remain at £2,500.


Have not these officers rendered very valuable service to the State, and were the services rendered not out of all proportion to the small salaries receive.? [HON. MEMBERS: "Oh!"]