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Area Officer, Scotland

Volume 355: debated on Wednesday 6 December 1939

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77.

asked the Minister of Supply whether he will indicate the status enjoyed by his representative in Glasgow; whether his duties are confined to post-contract matters; and, if so, the reason for this restriction?

I have interpreted the hon. Member's question as relating to the Ministry's area officer for Scotland, whose headquarters are in Glasgow. His duties are not confined to post-contract matters. They embrace also such matters as finding new capacity for the manufacture of munitions and reporting thereon, and acting as liaison officer with area representatives of other Government Departments; with the raw materials controls; with representatives of such bodies as the Federation of British Industries and employers' federations; and with responsible representatives of labour.

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that the gentleman who holds this position has told a number of contractors in Scotland that on the instructions of officials in London he has to confine himself to post-contract matters only, and will the right hon. Gentleman take steps to rectify that?

If we are referring to the same gentleman, Major Jackson Millar, he is a qualified engineer whose business in private life is in Glasgow, he is well known and well fitted for the duties of his office. I have never heard anything to the contrary.

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that there have been four gentlemen in this office and it is difficult to keep track with them?