Scrap Metal Collection, Wiltshire.

Oral Answers to Questions — Works and Buildings. – in the House of Commons on 11th February 1942.

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Photo of Sir Percy Hurd Sir Percy Hurd , Devizes

asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Works and Buildings, what is the character of the new organisation now working in Wiltshire for the collection of scrap metal; how many are employed and at what cost; and what steps are taken to avoid overlapping with the existing collecting arrangements of the local authorities?

Photo of Mr George Hicks Mr George Hicks , Woolwich East

Many representations have been received regarding the failure of the existing organisations to collect scrap metal from village and other dumps throughout the country, and the unwillingness of private individuals, as a direct consequence of this, to surrender scrap metal needed for the national effort. My Noble Friend, therefore, decided to institute county drives to collect this scrap and to recover any scrap from hitherto untapped sources. These drives are being carried out through the Directorate of Demolition and Recovery recently established in my Department. The drive in Wiltshire is one of the first three to be made. The number of staff detached for this special duty is twelve, and the cost, inclusive of travelling and subsistence expenses, will be about £120 a week. Overlapping is avoided by direct contact as a first step with the appropriate officers of the local authorities.

Photo of Sir Percy Hurd Sir Percy Hurd , Devizes

Would it not have been better to make use of the local organisations which know the countryside well instead of sending down a stranger who has no knowledge whatever?

Photo of Mr George Hicks Mr George Hicks , Woolwich East

I had the opportunity of opening the scrap drive in Wiltshire and I attended a meeting in Swindon, at which as many local authorities as possible attended, together with local organisations. Their co-operation was solicited and they generously offered to help us.