asked the President of the Board of Education whether the number of the staff employed in the geological survey has risen from 49 in 1914 to 84 in 1922; whether the expenditure in the same period has increased from £16,748 to £52,560; whether this increase in staff and expenditure is justified by present utility; and whether a scheme has been devised to expand the scope of the geological survey involving the establishment of several provincial offices?
The figures quoted by the hon. Member are not comparable, and it is not possible to deal adequately with them within the limit of an oral answer. Comparable figures for staff would be 61 for 1914 and 84 for the current year; for expenditure the figures would be £16,828 for 1914 and £44,560 for 1922. The increase is necessary for obtaining information required in the development of the mineral resources of the country, and it is fully justified by its value for these purposes. There has been no expansion in the scope of the work of the survey. With a view to economy and increased efficiency, local offices have been opened in areas where staff has to be centred for some years. I am supplying the hon. Member with a short memorandum on the points raised.