Lord Beaverbrook (Duties in United States).

Oral Answers to Questions — Ministry of Supply. – in the House of Commons on 18th March 1942.

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Photo of Mr Clement Attlee Mr Clement Attlee , Stepney Limehouse

As was stated on 20th February when the list of the new War Cabinet was published, Lord Beaverbrook will proceed to the United States, where he will carry on the work which he has already begun regarding the pooling of resources between the United Nations, together with such other duties as may be entrusted to him from time to time by the War Cabinet. It is probable that later on this work' will be devolved upon a Minister of the rank of Under-Secretary, thus releasing Lord Beaverbrook for other duties in connection with the war effort of the United Nations.

Photo of Mr Emanuel Shinwell Mr Emanuel Shinwell , Seaham

If it was known on 20th February that Lord Beaverbrook was to proceed to the United States at the request of the Government, why was a statement to that effect not made last Thursday instead of the Prime Minister's statement that he was not sure whether Lord Beaverbrook was so proceeding? May I ask whether Lord Beaverbrook, in the United States or elsewhere, will be under the direct supervision of the Minister of State?

Photo of Mr Clement Attlee Mr Clement Attlee , Stepney Limehouse

Yes, he will be acting under the general direction of the Minister of State as Minister of Production. I presume that the reply which was made was the reply which could have been made at the time.

Photo of Mr Emanuel Shinwell Mr Emanuel Shinwell , Seaham

Last week the Prime Minister, in reply to Questions, said that he was not sure whether Lord Beaverbrook was to proceed to the United States. As I understand it, this was apparently known on 20th February. Was there any need to have any trouble about it?

Photo of Mr Clement Attlee Mr Clement Attlee , Stepney Limehouse

My hon. Friend is wrong. A statement was made on 20th February, but it was uncertain last week whether Lord Beaverbrook would proceed. It is now certain.

Photo of Mr Irving Albery Mr Irving Albery , Gravesend

Can the right hon. Gentleman say exactly what Lord Beaverbrook's status will be when he is in the United States?

Photo of Mr Clement Attlee Mr Clement Attlee , Stepney Limehouse

He will be acting as a representative on behalf of the War Cabinet, particularly the Ministry of Supply, for this work of co-ordination.

Photo of Mr Campbell Stephen Mr Campbell Stephen , Glasgow Camlachie

Is Lord Beaverbrook to be regarded as a member of the Government and a Minister of the Crown?

Colonel Arthur Evans:

What part of Lord Beaverbrook's duties will eventually be undertaken by an Under-Secretary?

Photo of Mr Clement Attlee Mr Clement Attlee , Stepney Limehouse

I think my hon. and gallant Friend might wait and discuss that in the Debate on the Ministry of Production.

Photo of Mr Irving Albery Mr Irving Albery , Gravesend

Are we to understand from the right hon. Gentleman's answer that Lord Beaverbrook proceeds to the United States on a special mission?

Photo of Mr Clement Attlee Mr Clement Attlee , Stepney Limehouse

That was explained on 20th February.

Photo of Mr Leslie Hore-Belisha Mr Leslie Hore-Belisha , Plymouth, Devonport

What is the nature of the other duties? Are they diplomatic, and, if so, will the authority of His Majesty's Ambassador be fully preserved?

Photo of Mr Clement Attlee Mr Clement Attlee , Stepney Limehouse

There is no question of diplomatic duties. The Ambassador's privileges will be fully preserved.