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South Coast Beach Clearance

Volume 437: debated on Tuesday 20 May 1947

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asked the Secretary of State for War what estimate he has of the quantity of iron and steel and barbed wire placed on the South coast beaches during the war and still unremoved; and what steps he is proposing to take to use troops to recover this valuable scrap.

I regret that I am unable to estimate the quantity. Although schemes for the removal by local authorities of the bulk of the steel and wire placed on beaches on the South coast have been approved, I understand that progress has been retarded by shortage of labour. There is also material on privately owned beaches on the South coast. The responsibility for removal from such beaches, where it is in the public interest, rests with the Ministry of Works. Resources of military labour are not sufficient normally to undertake this work.

Is not my hon. Friend aware that we have had a substantial Army of about 400,000 at home for the last two years, a great proportion of whom have been doing nothing at all, and does he not consider that it is about time the Ministry of Works got on with this job?

Is the Minister aware that Par beach is not yet cleared, and that the month of May is fast drawing to its close?