§ Major GLYN
asked the Financial Secretary to the Treasury what is the total number of persons employed, whole or part time, under the Disposal Board or 1181W Liquidation Commission; what is the annual cost of office accommodation and salaries, respectively; what is the total estimated value of war stores, plant, machinery, etc., yet to be disposed of; how much of this is expected to be sold during the present financial year; what is the average amount of the nominal value written off annually through depreciation, etc.; and by how much are the staff and overhead charges of this Department reduced in proportion to sales carried out?
The total number of persons employed whole or part time under the Surplus Stores, etc., Liquidation Department of the Treasury, to which I assume the hon. and gallant Member refers, including messengers and cleaners, but excluding industrial staff employed at depots, etc., was 169 on 1st April last, and their salaries, wages, etc., amounted to £54, 495 per annum. I am informed by His Majesty's Office of Works that the annual cost of the office accommodation of the headquarters' staff, inclusive of rent, rates, maintenance, fuel, lighting, etc., is £5, 685. It is not possible to add the value of the accommodation provided for office staff in depots, but the amount of this is relatively small.
Including factories, lands and buildings, the estimated value as at 1st April, 1925, of surplus property and material to be disposed of was £3, 250, 000. Apart from factories, some of which are proving difficult to dispose of, it is anticipated that all other surplus material will be sold during the current financial year. The stocks, etc., in hand are re-valued from time to time, in accordance with market prices, but it would not be possible without considerable labour to distinguish the variation in the total value due to reduction of stocks, from that due to depreciation or appreciation.
As regards the last part of the hon. and gallant Member's question, I would point out that the duties of the Surplus Stores, etc., Liquidation Department, comprise not only the sale of stores, but the liquidation of the commitments of the late Ministry of Munitions, and the completion of various sale contracts made in the past and the collection of money in respect of them.
I am satisfied that the staff and overhead charges of the Department have been reduced in proportion to the decrease of its work.