§ Mr. ALDEN
asked the Secretary to the Treasury if he will state what is the nature of the Stationery Office inspectorate staff, of which Major Stenson Cooke is the head; how long it has been in existence; of how many persons it is composed; what are the salaries of the other members; whether they are established Civil servants and, if so, what is their rank; how it is proposed to recruit any further additions to the inspectorate staff; whether no established Civil servant 1725W in His Majesty's Stationery Office could be found competent to undertake the duties of head of the inspectorate staff —e.g., a staff officer on a salary scale of £300 to £400 who has seen active service and been discharged from the Army; if not, whether any attempt was made to obtain a qualified established Civil servant for the post by transfer from any other Government Department; whether the work performed by Major Stenson Cooke at the present time is for the most part the keeping of a card index of typewriters, comptometers, dictaphones, etc., in use in Government Departments; whether, concurrently with these duties at the Stationery Office, he is still carrying on his duties as secretary to the Automobile Association; whether his appointment in the Stationery Office is of a purely temporary nature; what are his special qualifications for the post; whether, in view of the fact that his medical classification has not been ascertained, he might be in a position to perform work of greater national importance in a military capacity; and whether the Treasury will refrain from sanctioning any further appointments of Army officers to posts in the Civil Service in similar circumstances?
§ Mr. BALDWIN
The Stationery Office inspectorate staff, of which Major Stenson Cooke is the head, came into being on the 1st February, 1918, and consists of Major Stenson Cooke, who receives £600 per annum, a higher grade temporary male clerk £200 per annum, and a shorthand writer-typist, four lady clerks, and a messenger at the usual Civil Service rates of pay. The whole of the staff consists of temporary Civil servants, none of them being established. There is no proposal at present to recruit any further additions to the inspectorate staff. No established Civil servant in His Majesty's Stationery Office competent to undertake the duties of the head of the inspectorate staff could be spared from his present duties for this work. No attempt was made to obtain a qualified established Civil servant for the post by transfer from any other Government Department, as the Treasury authority under which the Stationery Office inspectorate was created laid down that it should be created on a temporary basis. Major Stenson Cooke does not himself keep a card index of typewriters, comptometers, dictaphones, etc., in use in Government Departments, this work being done by his staff; he gives1726W his whole day to his duties at the Stationery Office. His appointment in the Stationery Office is of a purely temporary nature. His special qualifications for the post are his organising ability, tact,. energy, and sound common sense. His present duties are very important, and it is doubtful whether he might be in a. position to perform work of greater national importance in a military capacity. Major Stenson Cooke was not appointed from the Army to his present post in the Stationery Office; he was transferred from a Civil post in the Ministry of National Service.