§ Mr. H. WILLIAMS
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer the whole cost of administration of all British Government services, that is, the aggregate total of all salaries and wages other than those paid to soldiers, sailors, airmen, workmen in royal dockyards and arsenals and manipu- 1346 lative grades in the Post Office, together with all payments for the rents, rates and maintenance of all buildings used by administrative staff, and all the stationery, printing and office supplies used by them; and what was the corresponding total in 1914, the cost of services relating mainly, or exclusively, to the area of the Irish Free State being excluded in both cases?
§ The CHANCELLOR of the EXCHEQUER (Mr. Churchill)
The expenditure incurred on account of charges for rents rates and maintenance of buildings, and for stationery, printing and office supplies, are not recorded separately for administrative and other staffs, and I regret. that the allocation of these charges in the manner proposed could not be ascertained without an amount of labour and expense which I should regard as altogether disproportionate. In any ease figures could not now be ascertained for 1914 on the basis suggested. I would refer the hon. Member to the reply given to the hon. Member for Darwen (Sir Frank Sanderson) on 28th May last, and to the comparisons of national expenditure in 1914 and at the present time contained in the Tables relating to national expenditure recently presented to Parliament (Command Paper 2613), and in the Memorandum on Present and Pre-War Expenditure which is presented annually shortly after the Estimates for the year, the latest issue being Command Paper 2428.
§ Mr. WILLIAMS
May I ask whether any consideration has been given to the problem of overhauling administrative methods in Government Departments and bringing them into line with those adopted by large private concerns, thereby effecting very large economies?
§ Mr. CHURCHILL
We had the advantage of the advice and opinion of Sir Eric Geddes two or three years ago on the whole of this question.