HC Deb 05 July 1923 vol 166 cc595-6
83. Sir J. BUTCHER

asked the Financial Secretary to the War Office the cost and functions of the Army land agents, and the number and rank of these officers and their staff employed in this Department; and whether he will consider the desirability of the duties performed by this Department being performed by some of the many civilian land agents, who are now out of employment owing to the break up of large estates?

The UNDER-SECRETARY of STATE for WAR (Lieut.-Colonel Guinness)

With the hon. Member's permission, I will circulate the details in the OFFICIAL REPORT, but the present total cost of the staff in question is £39,470, and their functions are those appertaining to a large estate office—for instance, valuations, sales, purchases, assessment of rents and dilapidations, and at present the assessment of compensation for the numerous cases of occupation of property during the late War. The staff serves the Air Ministry and the Disposal and Liquidation Commission as well as the War Department. With regard to the last part of the question, the officials in question, though some of them hold military rank, are not really Army officers, but were engaged from civil life. Their general replacement by others drawn from the same source would have no effect upon the state of unemployment in the profession, and is in any circumstances impracticable.

Following are the details referred to:

Headquarters Staff.
Present Cost.
1 Chief Valuer and Compensation Officer 2,500
2 Deputy Chief Valuers and Compensation Officers 1,900
2 Sectional Supervising Valuers 1,300
2 Supervising Valuers 1,200
4 Valuers 2,100
4 Assistant Valuers 1,680
Staff employed in Commands.
(i) Great Britain: £
6 Command Land Agents 4,150
9 Supervising Land Agents or Valuers 5,400
19 Land Agents or Valuers 9,975
4 Assistant Land Agents or Valuers 1,680
2 Legal Assistants 985
(ii) Ireland: £
1 Chief Lands Officer 1,200
2 Supervising Lands Officers 1,300
4 Lands Officers 2,300
4 Assistant Lands Officers 1,800
Present Total cost per annum £39,470
The staff of the Lands Branch of the (late) Irish Command will be considerably reduced after 1st September next, on the closing down of the existing office in Dublin, and will entirely disappear on the completion of the compensation work arising out of the late War and the political situation in Ireland.

The above salaries are subject to a general reduction, next month, of 5 per cent.