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Director Of Gas Supplies (Dr Smith's Resignation)

Volume 387: debated on Tuesday 16 March 1943

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asked the Minister of Fuel and Power whether he will indicate the nature of the differences of opinion which have caused the resignation of Dr. Smith from his position of Director of Gas Supplies?

Dr. Smith wrote to me on 19th February saying that it appeared that he had fulfilled the task allotted to him when he was appointed in 1941 and he therefore desired to terminate his services with my Department. He felt that his effort? could better serve the national cause if exercised elsewhere. There have been certain differences of opinion between Dr. Smith and myself during the last eight months. These have arisen only on occasions when I felt myself unable to accept the advice which he rendered to me.

In view of the grave disquiet occasioned by Dr. Smith's resignation owing to the confidence they have in him, did the right hon. and gallant Gentleman personally discuss the differences of opinion between him and Dr. Smith since the resignation was handed in?

I have not consulted him' since that time, but I had on many occasions before.

Does the right hon. and gallant Gentleman believe that the appointment of a Committee with a non-technical chairman will be more advantageous to the national interest than a man with high technical qualifications?