Ministry of Supply

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 24th July 1947.

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Photo of Viscount  Hinchingbrooke Viscount Hinchingbrooke , Dorset Southern 12:00 am, 24th July 1947

Exactly, and suggest they should not have been in a dump at all, because the tyres should have been disposed of by now. There is a very serious delay in the disposal or all these items of stores. The hon. Member for East Willesden (Mr. Orbach) was very much upset earlier in this year, and quite rightly so, about surplus generators. During the fuel crisis, surplus generators which were going to be auctioned were suddenly brought into the market and sold at very short notice. The generators in question were 250 trailer mounted sets which were included with some 5,000 vehicles, and in view of the fuel situation it was decided to sell them straight away. Why were these motor generators not already in private hands before the fuel crisis? They were on Ministry of Supply dumps for years past and could have been collected and sold.

I should like to ask a question about the auction sales which go on all over the country. One or two hon. Members are dissatisfied that auction sales are not being held in their constituencies. The Inn and gallant Member for North Blackpool (Brigadier Low) not long ago put down a Question about them. How many urban, rural district and local government areas are there in which none of these auction sales have been held? I hope that the Parliamentary Secretary can give us an answer on that. The situation in paint is as bad as it can be. My hon. Friend the Member for Maidstone (Mr. Bossom) put a Question on that. There was a case in the Press the other day and it was reported that every day for three weeks 100 5-gallon drums of paint, varnish and distemper were put into a pit by a bull dozer, altogether amounting to £12,500 worth, which could not be sold except through a large contractor. Mr. Kemp, an expert from Chichester, said "This is criminal waste." This is the kind of thing that one finds on all sides. Then there is the question of the disposal of surplus lathes. The Board of Trade says bat there is keen competition for screw-cutting lathes that come into the Government pool from time to time, but why has no one had an opportunity of getting them before, and why are they cluttering up Ministry of Supply dumps up and down the country?