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Volume 436: debated on Monday 28 April 1947

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asked the Minister of Supply what is the estimated proportion of railings removed during the war that were used; and what is going to be done with those still in stock.

Railings are not separately distinguished in the returns of scrap stocks made by iron and steel works. So far as I am aware, the whole of the 600,000 tons of railings collected have been used by the steel works, but if the hon. Member knows of any stocks unused and will let me have particulars, I will have the matter investigated.

What about those which are of artistic merit, such as those which, I understand, are to be replaced in Charlotte Square, Edinburgh; does the Minister know anything about them?

Is the Minister aware that I have been in correspondence with the Ministry of Works on this subject, and that there are a considerable number of dumps of railings, which have not been melted down or used for anything else, and the owners cannot get them back?

If the hon. and gallant Gentleman will let me have particulars, I shall be very pleased to look into the matter.

Will the Minister make further inquiries into the case of Mr. Alwen, of Cudham, Kent, whose ornamental railings, valued at between £30 and £40, were removed and ascribed an estimated value of 13s. 10d., which is a disgraceful form of confiscation by this Government?

If the hon. Gentleman will send me particulars, I will certainly look into this case, but he will appreciate that it happened before my time.

Can the Minister give the House an assurance that he is willing to consider the return of any ornamental railings of artistic value which have not yet been smelted and are still available?

I think that is a matter for the Minister of Works, but I will certainly look into it if I may have particulars.