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Ministry Of Supply

Volume 361: debated on Thursday 30 May 1940

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Paper Production

87.

asked the Minister of Supply whether, in view of the threatened shortage of paper, he will make arrangements whereby soft-wood trees over the country, suitable for making paper-pulp, should be utilised as far as possible for paper production?

In general the bulk of the available supply of home-grown softwood is already earmarked for the production of mining timber and essential requirements other than paper. The possibility, however, of using "waste" softwood for the production of pulp for paper making is being examined, and I have asked for a report on it at the earliest possible date.

Scrap Metal

88.

asked the Minister of Supply whether he has considered using as scrap-iron the unnecessary railings in the squares of London and other cities and towns?

I would refer my hon. Friend to the reply which I gave yesterday to a Question on the same subject by the hon. Member for the Broxtowe Division of Nottingham (Mr. Cocks).

If the Minister is aware of any German tanks knocking about will he "pinch" them and put them in the melting pot?

Will the right hon. Gentleman consider the case of the railings in St. James's Square? There is an air raid shelter there, and if the railings were taken down it would make it much easier for people to get to it.

I will ask my Department to call the attention of the First Commissioner of Works to that point.

Industrial Co-Ordination (Scotland)

89.

asked the Minister of Supply what steps have been taken to co-ordinate and encourage Scottish industries engaged in the production of essential supplies?

As regards munitions and similar production, there is an active area organisation in Glasgow to deal with the co-ordination and encouragement of industry.

Machine Guns

90.

asked the Minister of Supply whether he is satisfied that all available world supplies of machine guns of suitable 303 types have been thoroughly investigated?

I am satisfied that all suitable steps have been taken, and continue to be taken, to investigate all possible sources of supply of machine guns of suitable types.

Is the Minister aware that the Ministry of Supply has been satisfied about everything for the last six months, and will he make sure that the satisfaction which has been reported to him is not part of the general complacency of that Department?

I cannot answer for the Ministry of Supply during the last six months.