HC Deb 12 July 1923 vol 166 cc1553-5
73. Colonel GRETTON

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer which Minister is responsible for the Disposal Board; if that body is still operating; if the Treasury consent is necessary for their transactions or any of them; and if any account has been furnished to the Treasury of the properties, stores, etc., and their value handed over to the Disposal Board by the various Government Departments?

The FINANCIAL SECRETARY to the TREASURY (Sir W. Joynson-Hicks)

The Disposal Board ceased to exist on the 31st March last, the work previously done by that Board being thereafter carried out by the Disposal and Liquidation Commission direct. The Commission is still in operation and carries out its work under the general supervision of the Treasury, my right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer and myself being the responsible Ministers. As regards the last part of my hon. Friend's question, the Disposal and Liquidation Commission have a complete list of all the property under their charge, though it will be realised that as these stores and properties were scattered all over the world and were in various stages of wear and tear, it was impossible for Departments to furnish the Treasury with their value at the time of handing over, or the original cost of each item. In addition, their realised values are shown in Command Papers presented to Parliament annually, the accounts of the Department are audited by the Comptroller and Auditor-General and questions connected with them come under the annual scrutiny of the Public Accounts Committee.


Will that apply to real property buildings and other things of that kind, the value of which can be ascertained?


Does the right hon. Gentleman intend to publish a detailed report with regard to the disposal of the munition factories which this Board had under its control?


I gave an undertaking about a fortnight ago that I would, personally, go into the whole question. I have not had time to do so—as hon. Members know, the Finance Bill was not out of the way until last week— but that undertaking stands, and I will go into the question as soon as I possibly can.