The PARLIAMENTARY SECRETARY to the MINISTRY of SHIPPING (Colonel Wilson):
The question how long the Ministry of Shipping should be continued as a separate Department is under consideration, but it is not possible to make any statement at present. The present headquarters staff is 875 and the main work is clearing up the business left by the War, when it will be remembered, practically the whole of the mercantile marine was under requisition. More than half of the present staff are engaged on accounting work.
My right hon. Friend knows that the Shipping Controller is only too anxious to bring the Ministry to an end at the earliest possible moment. It will certainly be in a few months, but I cannot possibly fix a date.