HC Deb 27 February 1951 vol 484 cc1908-9
47. Mr. Manningham-Buller

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer why a Customs officer on 9th February, 1951, travelled in a hired car from Newport Pagnell to Daventry and back in order to advise on the completion of a form; and what was the mileage travelled and the cost incurred.

Mr. Gaitskell

The journey in question was not a special journey to Daventry for the purpose stated. In the absence on leave of the regular officer of Customs and Excise at Newport Pagnell, who is responsible for a wide country area, and who uses his own private car on official business, it was made by an officer deputising for him to visit several traders in the Towcester and Daventry districts in the course of his ordinary business. The mileage for the round journey was about 52 miles and the cost £2 11s. 9d.

Mr. Manningham-Buller

As the advice given at Daventry was only to give the answer "Not known" to the questions where the information was not readily available, could that not have been done by telephone?

Mr. Gaitskell

I have already explained that it was a visit to several traders.

Mr. David Griffiths

Is my right hon. Friend aware that the waste of the taxpayers' money involved by this Question is greater than the sum involved by the use of the car?