Motion made, and Question proposed
That a Supplementary sum, not exceeding £23,000, be granted to His Majesty, to defray the charge which will come in course of payment during the year ending on the 31st day of March, 1936, for Expenditure in respect of Customs and Excise, Inland Revenue, Post Office and Telegraph Buildings in Great Britain, certain Post Offices abroad, and for certain expenses in connection with Boats and Launches belonging to the Customs and Excise Department.
§ 7.43 p.m.
§ The FIRST COMMISSIONER of WORKS (Mr. Ormsby-Gore)
The three sub-heads in this Vote consist of increased rents and increased charges for furniture for Inland Revenue buildings and for Post Office and Telegraph buildings. The increased rents are entirely due to one building. It was our intention at the earliest possible moment to take over the new south-west wing of Bush House, Aldwych, in the Strand, to relieve the very severe congestion of the Inland Revenue Department at Somerset House. We accordingly estimated that we should not get in until later in the year, but, fortunately, the building was ready sooner than we expected. It meant that the rent, which is £25,000 per year, began at an earlier date, and in order to pay the rent of Bush House we had to pay an additional £9,000 on the sum anticipated when the Estimate was originally made out. The furniture is for the Revenue Offices and Post Offices respectively, the reason for the increase in furniture required for the Revenue buildings is that originally provision was made for properly equipping 65 new offices of the Inland Revenue, and we have been able to equip for the better use of the public using the Inland Revenue offices for Income Tax and other purposes 95 offices in the year, and that accounts for the increase in the amount required for the furniture of the Inland Revenue offices.
The Post Office and Telegraph increase is entirely due to the additional equipment required by the Postmaster-General, which has to be provided by my Department for what is called the regionisation of the Post Offices of the North-East of England and of Scotland. The regional offices have been extended in the Edinburgh and Leeds areas, in 356 Aberdeen, Dundee, Bradford, Lincoln, Middlesbrough, Sheffield and York, and we have had to find furniture and equipments for these developments of Post Office organisation.