Dollar Expenditure

Oral Answers to Questions — Armed Forces – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 26th October 1949.

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Photo of Mr Stephen Swingler Mr Stephen Swingler , Stafford 12:00 am, 26th October 1949

asked the Minister of Defence what was the dollar expenditure on the Defence Services in the first half of 1949; and what is his estimate of such expenditure in the second half of the year.

Photo of Mr Albert Alexander Mr Albert Alexander , Sheffield, Hillsborough

In the first half of 1949 dollar expenditure on the Defence Services, excluding the cost of oil and of food included in the United Kingdom import programme, was about £1 million. I do not expect very much increase in this figure in the second half of the year, having regard to some reduction in numbers and the use of pre-devaluation stocks.

Photo of Mr Stephen Swingler Mr Stephen Swingler , Stafford

As the Minister has been able to give these figures, why was it not possible for him to estimate last week the effect of the devaluation of the pound on Defence costs?

Photo of Mr Albert Alexander Mr Albert Alexander , Sheffield, Hillsborough

That is a different question. I have given an answer which fits Question put to me today, and in so doing I have had to make allowance for the two factors I have mentioned.

Photo of Mr Ronald Chamberlain Mr Ronald Chamberlain , Lambeth Norwood

Can the Minister tell us why he specifically excluded figures for food and oil, which are most important?

Photo of Mr Albert Alexander Mr Albert Alexander , Sheffield, Hillsborough

I have given the only information I can give at present.

Photo of Mr Ronald Chamberlain Mr Ronald Chamberlain , Lambeth Norwood

These figures are most pertinent to the matter.

Photo of Mr Albert Alexander Mr Albert Alexander , Sheffield, Hillsborough

I should like to have notice of the hon. Member's question.

Photo of Mr Ronald Chamberlain Mr Ronald Chamberlain , Lambeth Norwood

The right hon. Gentleman has had notice.