HC Deb 21 March 1950 vol 472 cc1747-9
29. Sir John Mellor

asked the Secretary of State for War what has been the total cost during the past three years, respectively, of C-I Reproduction Services situated at 5–6 Old Cavendish Street, W.1; what is its purpose; what staff is employed; what floor space is occupied; what is produced, which could not be produced by His Majesty's Stationery Office; and when he proposes to close this establishment.

Mr. Strachey

As the answer is necessarily rather long, I will, with permission. circulate it in the OFFICIAL REPORT.

Following is the answer:

The cost of staff, provided in Army Estimates, has been approximately £30,000 a year for the last three years. It would involve a large amount of labour to assess separately the cost of the overheads of this section of the War Office. The section is used for reproduction by photo-mechanical process which would, alternatively, have to be carried out by other and less suitable means; for photocopying; for micro-filming of documents required for permanent record and of correspondence which would otherwise have to be sent overseas by airmail at much heavier cost; and for photography of Army equipment and other subjects of military interest.

The number of staff at present employed at 5–6, Cavendish Street, is 84. The floor space occupied is 11,192 sq. ft., exclusive of a small amount of storage space. Some of the work is of a kind which could be produced by H.M. Stationery Office, but the War Office, like other Service Departments, requires plant and staff to be available solely for its own reproduction work and to cover those services which H.M. Stationery Office does not provide, such as outdoor photography, and a microgram service for overseas correspondence.

It is more convenient and economical for all these War Office requirements, which to a large extent use common processes and staff, to be performed in one section, which forms a nucleus for expansion in time of emergency. I do not propose to close this section.

30. Sir J. Mellor

asked the Secretary of State for War whether any payment or offer of payment, for work improperly done in his Department, was received from Glass Developments, Limited, before the police commenced investigations into the conduct of his C-I Reproduction Services; and why no proceedings were taken against the company or its representatives for conspiracy.

Mr. Strachey

There was no written offer of payment. As regards the second part of the Question, the papers in the case were laid before the Director of Public Prosecutions, who decided that there was insufficient evidence to justify proceedings being taken.