HC Deb 20 July 1925 vol 186 cc1825-6
66. Captain GARRO-JONES

asked the Secretary of State for Air whether it is proposed to move a portion of the Air Ministry from Kingsway to Whitehall; what premises they propose to occupy; and what will be the advantage of this duplication of offices?

The UNDER SECRETARY of STATE for AIR (Major Sir Philip Sassoon)

Offices in Gwydyr House, Whitehall, have lately been taken over by the Secretary of State and myself with our personal staffs, the object in view being proximity to the Houses of Parliament and other Ministers. The Directorate of Civil Aviation has also moved to Gwydyr House; but the accommodation available there is insufficient to permit of any other considerable section of the Ministry being removed from the existing offices in Kingsway.


Will the hon. Baronet answer the part of the question which asks what is the justification for separating the head of the Air Ministry from its body in this way?


As I said in my answer, it is for the purpose of convenience.


Is it intended that the rest of the Air Ministry should be removed to the same premises at present or at some future time, and if the House refuses the money required to erect the new building will the hon. Baronet give authority to go back to Kingsway?


That is a hypothetical question which I cannot be expected to answer, but as the hon. Member has referred to the erection of new buildings I should say that the Air Ministry at present is occupying premises under a very expensive lease, and both for reasons of economy as well as of convenience it may be found desirable to find other accommodation.


Is the hon. Baronet aware that the existence of three defence Ministries is causing considerable anxiety in the country already and does he think that the addition of a fourth defence Ministry is very conducive to economy?