Equipment (Cleaning).

Oral Answers to Questions — British Army. – in the House of Commons on 4th August 1942.

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Photo of Mr John Dugdale Mr John Dugdale , West Bromwich

asked the Secretary of State for War whether he is aware of the amount of time spent by soldiers in blancoing their equipment; and whether, in view of the importance of using all available time for training, he will give instructions for this practice to be drastically reduced?

Photo of Sir James Grigg Sir James Grigg , Cardiff East

Web equipment has to be blancoed to preserve it and keep it waterproof. The frequency with which this needs doing therefore depends largely on the weather and the kind of training carried out.

Photo of Mr John Dugdale Mr John Dugdale , West Bromwich

Will the right hon. Gentleman consider whether it is necessary to spend at least two or three hours a week in this operation, in view of the fact that he has stated that such time is not available for educational instruction?

Photo of Sir James Grigg Sir James Grigg , Cardiff East

As regards the second part of the question, I have not stated anything of the sort. As regards the first part, if soldiers are out on practices and get their equipment wet, it is conceivable that more than the usual time has to be spent on blancoing.

Photo of Sir Percy Harris Sir Percy Harris , Bethnal Green South West

Will the right hon. Gentleman not consider suspending the use of blanco, both to save materials and to save the time spent on using it?

Photo of Sir James Grigg Sir James Grigg , Cardiff East

I have just explained that equipment has to be blancoed in order to preserve it.

Photo of Mr John Dugdale Mr John Dugdale , West Bromwich

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that blancoing is treated as a formality which has to be undergone by people going on guard, rather than as a question of preserving equipment?

Photo of Mr Frederick Montague Mr Frederick Montague , Islington West

Will the right hon. Gentleman consider the waste of soldiers' time in cleaning their teeth?

Photo of Sir James Grigg Sir James Grigg , Cardiff East

Yes, I will, certainly.