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Ministry Of Supply

Volume 387: debated on Wednesday 17 March 1943

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Tyres

64.

asked the Minister of Supply whether he is aware that in the United States of America only 20 per cent. of the giant tyres surrendered for repair prove to be scrap against 72 per cent. in this country during the period 1st November, 1942, to 31st January, 1943; and whether he will adopt the American system of handing back to owners their own tyres after retreading?

No, Sir; I am unable to identify the figure of 20 per cent. I am informed that American figures showing the proportion of giant tyres, removed from vehicles for replacement, which prove to be retreadable are not yet available. As regards the second part of the Question, I am satisfied that on balance the system suggested would be wasteful of rubber.

If I send the Minister the source of my information, will he have the circumstances re-examined, and does he not really think that the best way to encourage people to take their tyres off before they are worn out is to assure them that they shall have them back when they are re-treaded?

We are most anxious that tyres should be taken off in time to be re-treaded, and I agree with the hon. Member that the subject is one that needs careful and firm handling.

Discharged Employees, Royal Ordnance Factories

65.

asked the Minister of Supply what machinery exists at Royal Ordnance factories to deal with the discharging of workpeople, or what methods are adopted to prevent favouritism being shown to certain employees, thus causing irritation at the factory and affecting production?

The selection of workers is made jointly by the factory management and the local officials of the Ministry of Labour and National Service according to the circumstances of the workers concerned and the requirements of the work on which it is desired to place them. The district officials of the appropriate trade unions are kept informed and their representations considered. The worker has the right of appeal to the local appeal board.

Railings Removal

67.

asked the Minister of Supply how many tons of iron have been collected from the removal of gates and railings in the country; and what percentage of this amount has been brought into actual use for munition manufacture?

Approximately 450,000 tons of railings have been collected up to date. Of this, 85,000 tons are in reserve dumps, and the remainder has either already been sent to iron and steel works or is being sorted and cut up preparatory to going there. The entire output of iron and steel is used to meet essential war-time requirements.

Does the Minister consider that in view of the annoyance caused throughout country districts this action has really been worth while for the war effort?

I should not have thought there was the slightest doubt about that in anybody's mind.