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Motor Cars

Volume 415: debated on Tuesday 30 October 1945

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asked the Secretary of State for War how many motor-cars are now surplus to Army requirements; and what is the reason for the delay in handing these over to the Ministry of War Transport for disposal to the public.

:The Army has no motor cars in excess of its present requirements. The requirements for the more immediate future are now being worked out, but it is unlikely that many will become surplus. There is, of course, a steady outlet of cars which have completed their useful life in the Army and are uneconomical to retain. These are regularly reported for disposal to the Ministry of Supply and Aircraft Production, which is the responsible Department.

In view of the extraordinary statement in the early part of the reply, can the right hon. Gentleman explain who owns the thousands of cars in the many car parks, pictures of which we have seen in the Press day after day for many weeks? Is it not the War Office?

I want to make it quite clear—I do not know whether it is necessary to do so—that this Question relates to motor cars, not motor vehicles. As far as vehicles are concerned, they have become surplus in large numbers and are being handed over to the Ministry of Supply and Aircraft Production as quickly as they can accept them.

Can the right hon. Gentleman state the number of motor cars now held by the Army?

If the right hon. Gentleman knows the number of cars which are not surplus to Army requirements, he must know what the number is.

As a matter of fact, I do not know the number. Therefore, I would like to see the Question on the Paper.

:Is it the policy of the Army authorities to mechanise the Army to such an extent that every individual member of the post-war Army will have a motor car of his own?