Oral Answers to Questions — Militia Camps (Inquiry).

– in the House of Commons on 2nd April 1941.

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Photo of Sir Waldron Smithers Sir Waldron Smithers , Chislehurst

asked the Prime Minister whether he will give the name of the judge of the High Court who is to investigate cases of waste, extravagance and dishonesty arising from the findings of the Select Committee on National Expenditure; when will he commence his work; and to what address can further evidence be sent; to whom will the judge report; and will his report be made available to Members?

Photo of Mr Clement Attlee Mr Clement Attlee , Stepney Limehouse

Mr. Justice Simonds has undertaken to examine the papers in connection with the charges of a serious character made to the Select Committee against contractors, surveyors and others in official positions in connection with the militia camps to see whether there is a prima facie case against any officer or person which would justify further action. He will begin his work forthwith. Until he has made some progress in the consideration of the papers, it will not be possible to say whether he will require any further evidence on the specific allegations he is examining, but if he does, the appropriate steps will be taken to obtain it. His report will be rendered to my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister. Until the Prime Minister has the report in front of him, it will be premature to say what action will be appropriate.

Photo of Sir Waldron Smithers Sir Waldron Smithers , Chislehurst

In view of the fact that the Select Committee said that the terms of reference prevented them from going fully into all these details, and as there is a mass of evidence which was not before the Select Committee and which ought to go before the judge, why limit the scope of the judge's inquiry; and why this delay and why this apparent willingness to hush up the whole matter? Can we have an answer to that question?