Lieut.-Colonel Sir F. HALL:43.
asked the Chief Secretary for Ireland why two assistant under-secretaries are employed in the Irish Office as compared with one in 1921–22; who is the additional secretary; when was he appointed and for what purpose; and if he will state why provision is made for the payment of salaries for a full year to these officials, while in the case of the Chief Secretary only six months' provision is made in the Estimates?
In reply to the first and third parts of the question, I would refer the hon. and gallant Member to the reply which I gave to a similar question addressed to me by the hon. and gallant Member for Leith on 27th July last, in which I made it clear that it is not the case that two assistant undersecretaries are employed in the Irish Office. In reply to the second part, the additional assistant under-secretary is Mr. Mark Sturgis, who is head of the Irish Office staff, the other assistant under-secretary, Mr. Cope, being employed in Dublin. As I have previously stated, the Irish Office staff, in addition to advising me in the matters for which I am responsible to Parliament, advises my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for the Colonies in the Irish matters for which he is responsible, and for this purpose it is anticipated that their services will be required at least until the expiration of the current financial year.
Can the Chief Secretary tell us at all whether there is any hope in the near or distant future that the office of Chie. Secretary and the attendant expenses will disappear from the Estimates?
Mr. Cope is paid by Vote of this House. He is a civil servant of the British Civil Service loaned for special duty in Ireland. He takes his orders from the Irish Secretary in matters relevant to the Chief Secretary's office, and from the Colonial Secretary in matters relevant to the Colonial Office.