HC Deb 05 March 1946 vol 420 cc181-2
60. Mr. Carson

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he is now in a position to give an approximate date when the Estate Duty Office branch of the Civil Service now at Llandudno will return to London.

Mr. Dalton

No, Sir, I am afraid not.

Mr. Carson

Is the Chancellor aware that these men are in a much worse position than the serving soldier, in that they have no idea when their service away from home is to end? Could he not try in the future to put some time limit to the period before they will come back?

Mr. Dalton

No, Sir, I really cannot accept the view that they are in a worse position than the serving soldier. That is a grotesque extravagance, as any serving soldier would know. There is great pressure on space in London, and a great deal of work, including that of the Estate Duty Office, can be performed perfectly well in the country. There is no need for these people to come to London so far as the nature of their work is concerned. On the long view we must try to disperse a lot of our Civil Service activities away from the Metropolis in the Provinces.

Mr. Godfrey Nicholson

Is the Chancellor quite sure that a lot of unnecessary work is not caused to solicitors and agents by this office being in the country? If he reconsiders the matter I think he will find he is wrong.

Sir Henry Morris-Jones

Is it not a fact that these civil servants have become so fond of Wales that they do not want to leave it?