asked the Secretary of State for War whether he will set up a special committee to investigate and report upon the trading of the Navy, Army, and Air Force Institutes, with an independent chairman, and with adequate representation of the trading and commercial interests in the country?
I do not think any further inquiry necessary. A Committee presided over by my right hon. Friend the Member for the Ecclesall Division of Sheffield reported that they were "convinced that the maintenance of a permanent organisation of the kind is most desirable as a matter of policy, both because of the amenities which it affords to members of the forces, and more particularly because it provides the nucleus of a service capable of immediate expansion on mobilisation."
Ten females and 27 males are employed in the office of the Navy, Army, and Air Force Institutes at Salisbury. As these, institutes are not chargeable to Army Votes I am not in a position to say what is the annual cost of the salaries in question. Of the male employés, 11 are ex-service men, nine were under age during the War, one was unfit, and six were exempted. I am drawing the attention of the board of management of the Navy, Army, and Air Force Institutes to the low proportion of ex-service men employee at Salisbury.
It is not borne on any Vote. No public funds are involved. It is not true to say that the institutes are under the control of the three Departments concerned. Those Departments are represented on the Board of Management, but in no sense do they control the Board. The most I can do is to call the attention of the Board to the very low proportion of ex-service men employed.