PROPOSED TRANSPORT DEPOT AT SLOUGH
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The final report of tho Select Committee on National Expenditure just published again refers to this matter.• The progress of the work has been inspected and fresh evidence obtained, and they find that the estimate of expenditure required has been increased from a little over 21,000 000 to a figure of 21,750,000. Little additional accommodation was contemplated the ins.rease (75 per cent.) being attributable partly to the rise in th cost of construction and partly to the unreliability of the first rough estimate% The Committee expresses its surprise that an estimate should have been found incorrect by so large a percentage.
In view of the early termination of the war, it was urged upon the War Office that the Ministry of Munitions should release premises at its disposal for, the storage of vehicles, their repair, or both. No reply has been received, but meanwhile the work at Slough proceeds. The number of motor vehicles at home and in foreign theatres of war which -need Atention is 52,130 lorries, 28,520 cars and 33880 cycles. An output of repa'red vehicles of 100 lorries, 100 cars and 200 cycles per week for three years is contemplated, and a War Office estimate shows that, after writing down the capital expenditure to about 25 per cent. of its original sum a net profit on the undertaking of 21,233,772 is estimated.
The Committee will express no opinion as to whether this estimate is likely to be realized, and recommends that the estimate should be subject at once to independent expert examination, whilst it is also recommended that an immediate reply from the Ministry of Munitions as to the availability of alternative premises should be obtained, that the Government should review the question of proceeding with the work until the reply of the Ministry of Munitions was obtained, and that the proposals with regard to housing of personnel
• should, in particular, be re-examined. B29