Department of Mines.

National Expenditure. – in the House of Commons on 1st March 1922.

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Somebody asked me a question upon the Department of Mines. The Geddes Committee recommended that it should be dissolved into all the original elements from which it was composed, and go back to the various Departments from which its particular officers came. Deliberate consideration of that suggestion discloses, I think, that we could not economise by such an operation. I have no doubt whatever, and I have a good deal of experience of the Department of Mines, that we should only increase expense by splitting up that Department. At the present moment it is being conducted most economically, and the Geddes Committee makes no recommendation or no statement to the effect that there has been any extravagance. What we propose, however, is that it should become an integral part of the Board of Trade, and that the Minister who at present acts as Secretary to the Mines Department should be one of the Under-Secretaries of the Board of Trade.