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Surplus Razor Blades (Sale)

Oral Answers to Questions — British Army – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 26th March 1957.

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Photo of Mr Norman Dodds Mr Norman Dodds , Erith and Crayford 12:00 am, 26th March 1957

asked the Secretary of State for War how many safety razor blades have been declared surplus by his Department since 1st January, 1955, and offered for sale at public auctions.

Photo of Mr John Hare Mr John Hare , Sudbury and Woodbridge

8,595,100 razor blades have been declared surplus, of which 7,513,580 have already been sold at public auctions.

Photo of Mr Norman Dodds Mr Norman Dodds , Erith and Crayford

Will the right hon. Gentleman answer two questions? First, were these razor blades offered to the other two Services, and. second, why were these razor blades, which were sold at the rate of eight a penny, not sold to the troops? Is it that the troops are not now using razor blades?

Photo of Mr John Hare Mr John Hare , Sudbury and Woodbridge

The answer to the first part of the hon. Gentleman's supplementary is that the disposal of surplus stores is the responsibility of my right hon. Friend the Minister of Supply. The second part of his supplementary is really another matter, and I notice that the hon. Gentleman has another Question down on the Order Paper for next Tuesday——

Photo of Mr John Hare Mr John Hare , Sudbury and Woodbridge

—and, therefore, I would hesitate to prejudge my answer next Tuesday.

Photo of Mr Herbert Morrison Mr Herbert Morrison , Lewisham South

Can the Minister tell the House by what extraordinary and brilliant processes the War Office managed to accumulate 8 million-odd razor blades? How was it done?

Photo of Mr John Hare Mr John Hare , Sudbury and Woodbridge

The vast majority of these razor blades were accumulated because we were fighting a great war; in other words, they were largely accumulated during the time when the right hon. Gentleman was a member of the Coalition Government.