HC Deb 01 March 1921 vol 138 cc1641-2W

asked the Financial Secretary to the Treasury why, in view of the urgent necessity of economy in State expenditure, the sum of £191,000 is being incurred by the Stationery Office at Hollinwood; whether it is proposed to use these premises for the storage of paper and printed forms or for any other purpose; and whether it would be possible to secure temporary premises or reduce stocks to pre-War proportions?


The premises at Hollinwood have been acquired by His Majesty's Office of Works for the Northern Area branch of the Stationery Office as offices and a store for plain paper for issue to printing and binding contractors and for office requisites, official stationery, and printed stock forms and books for issue to provincial branches of Government Departments in the north of England, and to a certain extent in Scotland and Ireland also,e.g., Employment Exchanges, Post Offices, Customs and Excise Offices, Registries of Births, Deaths and Marriages, Surveyors and Collectors of Income Tax, Pension Offices, Old Age Pensions Committees, War Office and Admiralty Units, Factory and Mines Inspectors of the Home Office, etc. The following places previously used for this purpose were held on temporary leases or under the Defence of the Realm Act, and have as the result of the taking over of Hollinwood been vacated:—

8-storey building in Peter Street, Manchester (floor space area 48,000 square feet), with the exception of the ground floor area of 6,000 square feet.

Bayer Buildings, Bulford (floor space area 91,270 square feet).

9 barrack rooms and Regimental Institute, Hollinwood (floor space area 50,000 square feet).

Acorn Mills, Lees, near Oldham (floor space area 59,300 square feet).

Further Hey Mill, Further Hey, near Oldham (floor space area 44,000 square feet).

As regards the last part of the question, it is both desirable and economical to maintain a permanent distributing centre in the North of England. Every effort is made to reduce stocks to the lowest level consistent with the normal requirements of the public service. Where like can be compared with like, the stocks now held are proportionately less than those held before the War. There are, however, large new Departments to be provided for, such as the Ministry of Pensions. Moreover, to take an illustration from an old Department, it is manifestly impossible that the same stock of paper should suffice for an unemployment insurance scheme covering 11¾ million workers as for a scheme covering 3 millions.