HC Deb 17 March 1925 vol 181 cc2041-2
12 and 58. Sir J. MARRIOTT

asked the President of the Board of Trade (1) if he will state the present number of the Clearing Office staff at Cornwall House; and what staff reduction he proposes to make after the April payment of the final 5s. in the £, making a total of 20s. in the £ on accepted claims for compensation under Article 297 (e) of the Treaty of Versailles;

(2) whether he will allow his establishment officers to examine the Enemy Debt Clearing Office, Cornwall House, for the purpose of seeing whether all the present accommodation need be retained; and whether the staff can be reduced after the distribution under Article 297 (e) of the Treaty of Versailles has been made next month?


I have been asked to reply. As the answer is somewhat long, my hon. Friend will, perhaps, agree to my circulating it in the OFFICIAL REPORT.

The answer is as follows:

A Treasury investigation of the Clearing Office is now proceeding in connection with the re-arrangements necessitated by the transfer to the Clearing Office of the work of the Trading with the Enemy Branch of the Public Trustee Office. It is expected that the transfer will result in a saving of about 14,000 square feet of accommodation, representing a rent of about £5,800 a year. The staff employed by the Clearing Office, including the Departments for the Administration of Austrian, Bulgarian and Hungarian Property, and the accredited representatives in Berlin, Vienna, Budapest and China, and the staff transferred from the Public Trustee Office, numbers at present 1,103. It is not anticipated that any substantial reduction of staff can be made as a direct result of the payment of the final dividend on compensation awards of the Anglo-German Mixed Arbitral Tribunal. The work in connection with compensation claims under Article 297 (e) forms only a small part of the work of the Clearing Office, which also 'has to deal with outstanding claims in respect of pre-War debts under Article 296 and claims under the Austrian and Hungarian Treaties, besides being responsible for the liquidation of the charged German, Austrian and Hungarian assets, and for accounting therefor to the opposing Clearing Offices.