Skip to main content

Scrap Metal

Volume 389: debated on Wednesday 5 May 1943

The text on this page has been created from Hansard archive content, it may contain typographical errors.

Churchyards And Cemeteries


asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Works whether salvage committees acting under his Defence Regulation B 50 have been authorised to take away not only the iron railings round a burial ground but also the iron chains and bronzes on the gravestones themselves without asking the sanction of the relatives of those buried there or giving any notice to the caretaker of the graveyard, as was done recently at a place of which he has been informed; and whether he will issue immediate instructions to his salvage committees in England and Scot- land to stop further actions of this kind in consecrated burial grounds?

The removal from churchyards and cemeteries of iron railings and other metal fixtures, unless of artistic merit or historic interest, has, with the concurrence of the Church Authorities, been authorised under Defence Regulation 50B. In such cases a notice is served on the incumbent or caretaker as the case may be and is posted on the site. Where relatives desire to appeal against the proposed action their wishes are respected. Notice was given in this manner in the case referred to in the Question. It is not possible to take any further steps to ensure that the relatives, if any, are aware of the proposed removal. Instructions have recently been issued making it clear that chains forming part of the monument or memorial itself are not to be removed.

In view of this undertaking that memorials on graves are not to be touched, may I ask why the fixtures are not mentioned in the notices and why in this and other cases the metal has been taken from the graves?

If chains on graves are not to be taken, will the Minister see that the small railings on the graves are not taken away, because the position is exactly the same as in the case of chains?

I said in my answer that where relatives desire to appeal against the proposed action, their wishes are respected

Gates, Royal Parks


asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Works whether gates, such as those to Hyde Park, rendered unnecessary by the removal of railings, can also now be taken for scrap provided they have no special artistic merits?

All gates to the Royal Parks which fall outside the excepted classes—including those necessary to exclude vehicular traffic at night and on special occasions—have already been taken for scrap.

Is not the retention of the gates without the railings rather like keeping a lock without a door?

I am sure my hon. and gallant Friend will appreciate, in the case of Hyde Park, that if the gates at Hyde Park Corner or Marble Arch were taken down it would be easy for vehicles to pass through the park during the night, and for that reason they are retained.

London Park Seats {Service Personnel)


asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Works whether he will give instructions that Service personnel in uniform shall not be charged for seats or chairs in the London parks?

The question of allowing Service personnel in uniform to use, free of charge, the chairs owned and provided in the Royal Parks by a contractor has already received careful consideration, but while I fully sympathise with the feelings which have prompted the hon. and gallant Member's suggestion, I regret that it has not been found possible to make any concession. Over 8,000 free seats on benches are already available in the Royal Parks, of which approximately 6,000 are in the Central London parks.

In view of the fact that the present practice leads to a good deal of misunderstanding and sometimes unpleasantness among the Allied and Dominion troops, will the Minister consider cancelling this contract and taking the business into his own Department?

Women's Royal Naval Service


asked the First Lord of the Admiralty whether recruitment for the Women's Royal Naval Service is still continuing and, if so, in what branches are vacancies still available; and whether recruitment for other branches is likely to be started in the near future?

Recruitment into the Women's Royal Naval Service is still continuing for cooks, stewards, experienced motor transport drivers, women with a fluent knowledge of German and applicants qualified in mathematics or physics, which are required for certain technical duties. No changes in the categories open are anticipated in the immediate future.