asked the Minister of Supply how many new, used or scrap aircraft engines were dumped by his Department in a pit near the aerodrome at Meir, Stoke-on-Trent; whether these and other aircraft components so dumped were first offered to the scrap or engineering trades; and what was the cost of dumping.
Several hundred scrap aero engines, but no new ones, were dumped at Meir about three years ago. I regret that I am unable to trace whether they were first offered to the scrap or engineering trades. The cost of dumping was trifling.
Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that this is the second case in my constituency of extraordinarily wasteful practices by his Ministry? First, it was wireless sets, and now valuable scrap—accessories, magnetos, and so on—which ought to have been offered to the trade. Can he confirm the fact that this material was not offered?
I am afraid I cannot, because it happens that the people responsible are no longer with my Ministry, and I find it impossible to find an answer to that question.
Will the right hon. Gentleman be kind enough to review the whole question of scrap of aeroplanes and engines, as many of these parts could be used by civil operators on the air lift?
I am quite satisfied with the present system of getting rid of scrap or unwanted parts of aeroplanes. It is only that three years ago, it appears, some disused parts were dumped.
Is the right hon. Gentleman trying to tell the House that no records are kept in his Department of offers made by his Department?
There are ample records, but we cannot prove whether these articles were offered to the scrap merchants or to the trade.