HC Deb 02 November 1939 vol 352 cc2098-9
49. Mrs. Tate

asked the Minister of Agriculture what sum of money it is estimated has been, or is being, expended upon the building of a headquarters for the activities of the Milk Marketing Board?

The Minister of Agriculture (Colonel Sir Reginald Dorman-Smith)

The published accounts of the Milk Marketing Board for the year ended 31st March last indicate that the net expenditure on the new headquarters of the Board up to that date was £35,601 12s. 3d. I have no later information. I understand that the Board's object in removing their headquarters to Thames Ditton is to reduce the annual expenditure on office accommodation.

Mrs. Tate

In view of the fact that the figure is so enormous, and does not include recent expenditure, which I am told runs into £46,000, and inasmuch as the Milk Marketing Board has at least the moral support of the Government, is my right hon. and gallant Friend quite certain that there was no existing building which could have been taken over, instead of building one of these palaces for bureaucrats?

Sir R. Dorman-Smith

This is a matter for the Milk Marketing Board itself. I am satisfied that they will probably show a saving in their costs, compared with the past.

Mrs. Tate

Does not that indicate that their past is deplorable?

Mr. Lipson

Can the right hon. and gallant Gentleman say where the money comes from which is spent in this way?

Mrs. Tate

The producer.