HC Deb 02 December 1919 vol 122 cc238-9W

asked the Secretary to the Treasury (I) what is the approximate number of typewriters returned to the Stationery Office by Government Departments during the last three months, and the number re-issued during the same period;

(2) whether he is aware that the Stationery Office state that they have no typewriters surplus to requirements; and whether he can give any explanation of this fact, seeing that many Government Departments have made great reductions in clerical staff during the last three months?


The number of typewriters returned to the Stationery Office and the number issued during the last three months is as follows:

Returned. Issued.
September 938 268
October 1,274 407
November 921 403

There are at present no surplus machines in stock, since every machine returned requires examination and many of them require overhaul or repair before reissue; and although this work is being done as rapidly as possible the output of machines in good condition is only just sufficient to balance the new issues. The stock of machines actually ready for reissue is not more than a few days' supply. No new machines are being bought. The above figures for returned machines include all those returned front the fighting Services in all theatres of war, and many are so damaged that they require extensive repair. In the three months in question ninety machines, damaged beyond repair, have been broken up for spare parts.

The returns of machines that might be expected to be in first-class order (i.e., returns from Government Departments, excluding Admiralty, War Office, Air Ministry, and Minstry of Munitions) are small, namely:

September 102
October 195
November 132

In view of the present market conditions, it is more economical to overhaul and repair machines for reissue than to sell them in the condition in which they are returned and buy new ones to meet the normal requirements of the public service.