§ 29 and 31. Mr. Lovat-Fraser
asked the Home Secretary (1) whether, in view of the statement by the Select Committee on Estimates that the cost of the London office for the State management of the drink traffic in Carlisle, Gretna, and Cromarty appeared to be excessive, he has taken or proposes to take any action;
(2) whether, in view of the recommendation of the Select Committee on Estimates that the whole organisation of the scheme for the State management of the drink traffic in Carlisle, Gretna, and Cromarty should be reconsidered, he proposes to take any action?
§ Sir J. Simon
The recommendations of the Select Committee have been considered by my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Scotland and myself. Making allowance for the fact that the cost of the London office referred to by the committee includes the cost of the architect and his staff, the room for any saving in this item appears to be small, but I am considering whether any reduction will be practicable. After reviewing the general organisation of the undertakings in England and Scotland, my right hon. Friend and I do not propose to alter the existing system. This does not, of course, preclude consideration from time to time of possible improvements in the organisation.
§ Mr. Lovat-Fraser
Does the right hon. Gentleman not realise that this whole business is in the nature of a scandal?
§ Brigadier-General Spears
If the Carlisle experiment is considered to be a success, why has it not spread to the remainder of the country, and, if it is unsuccessful, why is it not discontinued at Carlisle?
§ 30. Mr. Lovat-Fraser
asked the Home Secretary whether, in view of the statement by the Select Committee on Estimates that the State management of the liquor traffic in Gretna and Cromarty appeared to be most unbusinesslike, and in view of the recommendation by the Royal Commission that sat on licensing for Scotland in 1931 that the establishments at Gretna and Cromarty should be disposed of, he proposes to take any action?
The Under-Secretary of State for Scotland (Mr. Wedderburn)
On the question of general organisation, I would refer to the reply which has just been given by my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for the Home Department. As regards the management of the Scottish undertakings, I think my hon. Friend has inadvertently misinterpreted the report of the Select Committee and my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Scotland desires to make it plain that he is satisfied that that management is efficient and economical. The reply to the last part of the question is in the negative.