HC Deb 02 November 1937 vol 328 cc716-7
49 and 56. Mr. Mander

asked (1) the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether it is proposed that an accountant should be attached to the Import Duties Advisory Committee to assist in a critical examination of the figures, as indicated in the Second Report of the Committee of Public Accounts, 1937;

(2) the Financial Secretary to the Treasury what action has been taken as a result of the Second Report from the Committee of Public Accounts, 1937, concerning the grave lack of supervision revealed on the part of the superior officers of the National Gallery, including the director and keeper, and the embezzlement committed by the accountant of the National Gallery?

Sir J. Simon

This question and question No. 56, addressed by the same hon. Member to my right hon. Friend the Financial Secretary to the Treasury, both refer to the last Report of the Committee of Public Accounts, and I will answer them together. The well-established practice is that a Treasury Minute dealing with the various matters raised in the Committee's Report is laid before the Public Accounts Committee in the first place, and, in accordance with the usual procedure, will no doubt be published by that Committee with their proceedings in due course.

Mr. Mander

Is it not possible to have any information with regard to the action taken in these two cases?

Sir J. Simon

I am not sure that I have made my meaning quite plain to the hon. Gentleman. The practice is quite well established between the Treasury and the Committee. It is a Committee of the House which makes some observations, and it would be most irregular and discourteous to that Committee to pronounce finally on their suggestions before they considered the observations of the Treasury.