HC Deb 22 November 1939 vol 353 cc1212-3
46. Brigadier-General Spears

asked the Prime Minister whether he will give an opportunity for the discussion of the Motion standing in the name of the hon. and gallant Member for Carlisle asking for the appointment of a Select Committee to inquire into the system of appointments to national defence posts, civil and military; and whether he will, in any event, have the terms of reference of the Select Committee on National Expenditure drafted widely enough to allow them to review the question of appointments?

[That a Select Committee of this House be set up to examine the system of appointments to national defence posts, civilian and military; and to report whether any improvement consistent with the policy decided by Parliament can be effected.]

The Prime Minister

I do not think it is necessary to find time for the discussion of this Motion. It is contemplated that the numbers and scales of pay of appointments in the Defence Forces and in Government Departments should be within the purview of the proposed Select Committee on National Expenditure. The principles regulating new appointments would, no doubt, also be within their purview so far as questions of possible economies are raised thereby.

Brigadier-General Spears

Is the right hon. Gentleman not aware that already there is wide public feeling that a number of appointments which were hastily made at the beginning of the war should now be reviewed from the point of view of economy and of efficiency?

The Prime Minister

As I have said, it will be within the purview of the Select Committee, and no doubt they will give their attention to it.