Mines Department.

Oral Answers to Questions — National Expenditure. – in the House of Commons on 20th February 1922.

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Mr. LOCKER-LAMPSON:

24.

asked the Secretary for Mines whether he is making arrangements, in accordance with the recommendation of the Geddes Committee, to transfer the functions of his Department to those Departments originally responsible for them?

Photo of Mr William Bridgeman Mr William Bridgeman , Oswestry

No, Sir. The recommendation in question could not be put into effect without an Act of Parliament, and His Majesty's Government have not come to a decision upon the matter.

Mr. LOCKER-LAMPSON:

Can my right hon. Friend indicate when a decision will be arrived at?

Photo of Mr William Bridgeman Mr William Bridgeman , Oswestry

No, Sir. I think that question should be addressed to the Leader of the House.

Captain BENN:

Can the right hon. Gentleman say what the delaying of this decision is costing the country?

Photo of Mr James Hogge Mr James Hogge , Edinburgh East

53.

asked the Secretary for Mines whether it is his intention to issue any memorandum commenting on the findings of the Geddes Committee?

Photo of Mr William Bridgeman Mr William Bridgeman , Oswestry

I have already taken such steps as seemed to me fitting to place before H.M. Government my views on the recommendations of the Committee on Public Expenditure about the Mines Department; I have no present intention of taking any further steps myself in the direction of publication.

Photo of Mr James Hogge Mr James Hogge , Edinburgh East

Why is it that my right hon. Friend has sent his report to the Government, and has not published it in the same way as the Admiralty? I do not see the Leader of the House here, but I should like to ask, as a supple- mentary question, where the House stands in these matters, and why we are to have one report issued direct to the public, while another Minister, like my right hon. Friend, sends his to the Government, and it depends upon them whether we are to get it or not?

Photo of Mr William Bridgeman Mr William Bridgeman , Oswestry

I cannot answer for the Leader of the House. But this is a free country, and I took the step which seemed to me to be most suitable.

Lieut.-Colonel GUINNESS:

Will the right hon. Gentleman take note that the official Opposition are very anxious to get a brief against economy?