asked the Minister of Agriculture whether any machinery at the Ordnance Survey at Southampton has been recently disposed of; what is the amount received for the same, and to whom the sale was made; and whether it is the intention of the Ministry to reduce the volume of work undertaken at these works?
Some machinery, which is no longer required, has recently been disposed of to Messrs. George Mann & Co., London, and to Messrs. Pollock Brown & Co., Southampton, for £865 and £25 respectively. No reduction in the volume of work is being made other than that to be secured by the economies resulting from the adoption of the recommendations of the Committee on National Expenditure.
There has been no recruitment since the decision of the Government on the recommendation of the Committee on National Expenditure to reduce the establishment of the Ordnance Survey to a strength of one thousand. When recruitment starts again, it will be necessary to prescribe the condition mentioned in the case of some of the entrants so as to increase the strength of the Royal Engineer Survey Companies, which is being kept much below the authorised number in order to avoid discharges of civilians. The answer to the last part of the question is in the negative.