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Camouflage Methods

Volume 360: debated on Thursday 9 May 1940

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asked the Home Secretary, in view of the effectiveness of parti-colouring as a method of camouflage being dependent upon violent contrast in tone between adjacent areas of colour, and of the numerous buildings, service vehicles, etc., camouflaged in patterns of brown, green and other colours devoid of this essential contrast in tone, whether he is prepared to take immediate steps to replace the present ineffective methods of camouflage by a scientific system based on contrast in tone?

The officers of my Department are fully aware of the principle to which my hon. Friend refers, and in appropriate cases it has in fact been applied in practical camouflage work on industrial buildings carried out under the direction of my Department. I am not directly responsible for the camouflage of vehicles belonging to the Service Departments, but I will see that my hon. Friend's Question is brought to the notice of the reconstituted Advisory Committee on Camouflage which will include representatives of all the Service Departments.

Would the right hon. Gentleman's answer still hold good if the word "parti" was spelt with a "y"?


asked the Home Secretary whether he will state the approximate expenditure to date upon research in connection with war camouflage; whether such research in the different Service Departments is under unified control so as to ensure co-ordination and avoidance of wasteful effort; and, if so, whether he will inform the House regarding the name and scientific qualifications of the responsible director of research?

I am informed that since 1937 the various Departments concerned have incurred expenditure on camouflage research amounting to above £20,000. The central establishment responsible for camouflage research has now been placed under the control of Dr. R. E. Stradling, the chief adviser on research and experiment in the Ministry of Home Security; and the Advisory Committee on Camouflage is being reconstituted so as to include, among others, responsible representatives of those branches in the Service Departments and the Ministry of Supply which are concerned with camouflage work. I hope that these and other changes which are now being made will result in better co-ordination, and a more effective pooling of information, as regards all branches of camouflage work.