Aircraft Production (Aluminium).

Oral Answers to Questions — Royal Air Force. – in the House of Commons on 24th July 1940.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Mr Alfred Barnes Mr Alfred Barnes , East Ham South

asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Aircraft Production whether it is the intention to pay compensation for aluminium stock in the possession of wholesalers and retailers which is requisitioned; and, if so, upon what basis will such compensation be paid?

Photo of Mr John Llewellin Mr John Llewellin , Uxbridge

As I explained in answer to a Question last week, my Noble Friend does not at present intend to requisition stocks in the hands of wholesalers and retailers. The question of compensation does not therefore arise.

Photo of Sir Geoffrey Mander Sir Geoffrey Mander , Wolverhampton East

Has any census been taken of stocks held by wholesalers, retailers and manufacturers?

Photo of Mr John Llewellin Mr John Llewellin , Uxbridge

No complete census has yet been taken, but the issue of aluminium for this kind of purpose was stopped in the very early days of the war, and there is not as much in the hands of wholesalers and retailers as a large number of people imagine.

Photo of Sir Geoffrey Mander Sir Geoffrey Mander , Wolverhampton East

Would not it be very desirable, in view of the urgent need of aluminium, to make a census and find out what is available?

Photo of Mr John Llewellin Mr John Llewellin , Uxbridge

As soon as we need the aluminium we shall certainly have a census, or take it without, but until we need that particular aluminium there would be no point in putting firms to the trouble of making returns.

Photo of Sir Geoffrey Mander Sir Geoffrey Mander , Wolverhampton East

Is it to be understood that the Government do not want aluminium at the present time?

Photo of Mr Robert Morrison Mr Robert Morrison , Tottenham North

asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Aircraft Production whether he will issue a specification for secondary aluminium; and is he aware that the United States of America, Germany, and Switzerland have all issued proper specifications for secondary aluminium many years ago?

Photo of Mr Henry Brooke Mr Henry Brooke , Lewisham West

asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Aircraft Production whether he is aware that scientific utilisation of aluminium scrap for the partial replacement of alloys derived from virgin metal has been more actively developed abroad than in this country, and that with proper organising of scrap collection in factories, and slight modifying of certain specifications, large tonnages of scrap already available here could be utilised for aircraft manufacture with no loss of efficiency and with important economy in the consumption of virgin aluminium; and if he will take action accordingly?

Photo of Mr John Llewellin Mr John Llewellin , Uxbridge

I am not aware that foreign countries are in advance of our own in the utilisation of aluminium scrap, but if either of my hon. Friends has any fresh information as to the methods used in such countries I shall certainly be glad to have it. Steps have been taken to ensure the proper collection of aluminium scrap in aircraft factories, and the Aluminium Controller possesses adequate powers to ensure that the process of collection is carried on to the best advantage. Two specifications which permit the employment of secondary aluminium have already been issued and the preparation of further specifications is now in hand.

Photo of Mr Robert Morrison Mr Robert Morrison , Tottenham North

asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Aircraft Production whether he will appoint an executive officer with a small advisory committee to be responsible for the issue of war-time specifications of secondary aluminium and their adoption by Government Departments, for the further organisation of scrap collection in aeroplane and munition works, and the distribution to approved remelters according to their capacity?

Photo of Mr John Llewellin Mr John Llewellin , Uxbridge

There is already in existence a small committee, the Secondary Metals Committee of the Light Alloys Control, which deals with the preparation and issue of such specifications. As I said in answer to the last Question, the collection of scrap in aircraft works is now well organised, and the Aluminium Controller possesses powers which are adequate to ensure that the process of collection is carried on to the best advantage.

Photo of Mr Charles Brown Mr Charles Brown , Mansfield

asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Aircraft Production whether any considerable quantity of the aluminium now being collected by his Department, from housewives and others, is suitable for manufacture into alloys which could be rolled, extruded or forged?

Photo of Mr Charles Brown Mr Charles Brown , Mansfield

Is the Minister aware that there are many aluminium alloys and that their precise nature can only be determined by analysis; and does he think it a practical proposition to have an analysis of all the varieties of scrap that are being collected? Is it a valuable contribution to our war effort to have this publicity stunt?

Photo of Mr John Llewellin Mr John Llewellin , Uxbridge

It is not a publicity stunt at all. All the stock of rolled aluminium that we have now will be of the greatest value to us, and if the new method which we hope to perfect in the course of a few weeks comes to hand so will the collection which we have made.

Photo of Mr Reginald Sorensen Mr Reginald Sorensen , Leyton West

Does the Minister agree that this is apt to give a misleading impression abroad?

Photo of Mr John Llewellin Mr John Llewellin , Uxbridge

No, Sir; I made it clear in an answer that we have enough aluminium for our present aircraft programme, but that we are looking ahead. We are very much indebted to the people who have given us their pots, pans and other things. I hope that nothing will be said in the House to make them think that they have given in vain.

Photo of Sir Francis Fremantle Sir Francis Fremantle , St Albans

How are we to know what is rolled aluminium? Are my shoe-trees rolled aluminium?

Photo of Mr John Llewellin Mr John Llewellin , Uxbridge

If my hon. Friend will send them to me, I will let him know.

Photo of Sir Francis Fremantle Sir Francis Fremantle , St Albans

I sent them a week ago.