asked the Minister of Supply and of Aircraft Production if he is aware that the hull and wings of damaged Sunderland aircraft are now being towed out to sea off a Scottish port and sunk; that these parts are estimated to contain up to eight tons of recoverable secondary aluminium; why this waste of valuable material is permitted; and what steps he is taking to stop it.
It is certainly our general policy to retain aluminium scrap from unserviceable and surplus aircraft for re-melting into secondary ingot. The tonnage of such scrap at present awaiting treatment is sufficient to keep the recovery depots working for a considerable time. A small number of Sunderland aircraft beyond economical repair have, however, after the removal of special equipment, been disposed of in the manner stated by the hon. Member. Owing to the distance of the aircraft from the Recovery Depots, the cost of recovery would not have been justified.