HC Deb 12 July 1923 vol 166 c1555

asked the President of the Board of Trade how recently there was an examination of the staffing at Cornwall House; what was the total staff of all grades employed at the British Clearing Office for Enemy Debts on 1st July, 1922, and on 1st July, 1923; what was the total expense borne by British claimants in respect of the work of the British Clearing Office for Enemy Debts for the 12 months ending 1st July, 1923; and when it is proposed to reduce the cost upon British claimants by means of a further reduction of staff?

The PRESIDENT of the BOARD of TRADE (Sir P. Lloyd-Greame)

The staff of the Clearing Office is under constant review. This staff, which includes the Departments for the administration of Austrian, Bulgarian and Hungarian property and the accredited representatives in Berlin, Vienna and Budapest and their respective staffs, has been reduced in the year ending 1st July, 1923, from 1,174 to 981. The cost of the staff in this period was approximately £246,000, to which must be added rent payable to the Office of Works and other expenses, bringing the total cost for the year to approximately £290,000. No effort will be spared to effect substantial further staff reductions within the present financial year, but my hon. Friend will appreciate that it would be very injurious to the interests of British creditors to reduce the staff below what is necessary for the efficient and prompt discharge of their work.