HC Deb 25 November 1942 vol 385 cc716-7
51. Sir Waldron Smithers

asked the Minister of Production whether he can assure the House that the recommendations and suggestions contained in the 18th Report from the Select Committee on National Expenditure, especially those in Sections 4, 9, 10, 16, 17 and 23, are being adopted as rapidly as possible?

Mr. Garro Jones

The bulk of this report relates to matters of administrative arrangement which have been the subject of confidential correspondence between the Committee and the Prime Minister. With regard to many of the principal recommendations contained in the Report, I would refer my hon. Friend to paragraph 7. Other suggestions made in the Report are being studied by the Departments concerned, and a written reply will, as is customary, be furnished to the Committee as soon as possible.

Sir W. Smithers

What is the use of committee meetings and considered replies when urgency of action is put forward in the Report? Can the hon. Gentleman assure the House that the advice of officers and men with recent battle experience is being sought and acted upon.

Mr. Garro Jones

There is no lack of a sense of urgency in any of the Departments concerned. The answer to the hon. Member's second question is "Yes."

Mr. George Griffiths

Will not the Cabinet consider handing over this business entirely to this special Expenditure Committee, because they can manage it best?

Mr. A. Edwards

Is my hon. Friend aware that it usually takes six to eight months to get an acknowledgment from the Department? Will he see that action is taken within as many weeks on this occasion?

Mr. Garro Jones

That does not apply to the Question on the Paper. The Committee have specifically commented on the promptitude with which the last Report has been dealt with.

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