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Ministry Of Supply

Volume 463: debated on Monday 4 April 1949

The text on this page has been created from Hansard archive content, it may contain typographical errors.

Dumped Aircraft Components

13.

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.

Radar Apparatus (Export)

15.

asked the Minister of Supply whether he has completed his inquiries on the possibility of our earning Canadian dollars by supplying part of the equipment for the projected radar interceptor network across Northern Canada; and if he will now make a statement.

I am not yet in a position to add anything to my reply to a previous Question by my hon. Friend on 21st March.

Is not my right hon. Friend aware that reports indicate that the American and Canadian authorities have decided to put this equipment into separate radar networks across Northern Canada, and that my calculations indicate that this project will mean something like 40 stations costing £1 million each? As this is a type of business this country is well able to take care of, will my right hon. Friend ask the President of the Board of Trade to consult with the Canadian authorities during his projected visit?

I am aware of the reports about the installation of this equipment, and I am making inquiries. As soon as I can, I will let my hon. Friend know.

Military Aircraft (Exports)

16.

asked the Minister of Supply to which countries respectively were the following British military aircraft, Mosquito, Spitfire, Vampire, Tempest and Meteor, exported during the year ended 31st December, 1948.

I will, with the hon. Member's permission, circulate a list of countries in the OFFICIAL REPORT.

Following is the list:

During the year ended 31st December, 1948, these aircraft were delivered to the following countries:

Mosquito: Belgium, Czechoslovakia, Dominican Republic, France, New Zealand, Norway, Sweden, Turkey.

Spitfire: Belgium, Denmark, Greece, Holland, India, Norway, Portugal, South Africa, Sweden.

Vampire: France, India, Norway.

Tempest: India, Pakistan.

Meteor:—Argentine, Belgium, France, Holland.

Non-Ferrous Metals Production

17.

asked the Minister of Supply what are the names of his principal advisers, both full-time and part-time, on matters relating to the production of non-ferrous metals in the United Kingdom; and what is the approximate division of duties between the several officers and consultants.

It has recently been decided that arrangements shall be made for my Department to take over general responsibility for the production of nonferrous metals in the United Kingdom, except the inspection of health, safety and welfare measures. The division of responsibility between Departments has not yet been closely defined and no advisers have been appointed.

Will the Minister see to it, when he does appoint these advisers, that amongst them are some technical experts in Cornish tin mining?

The hon. Member may be sure that I shall appoint people who will be best equipped for the job.

Does this mean that the right hon. Gentleman's Department will now be responsible for the publication of the survey that is being made about non-ferrous metals in this country?

I think that that is rather a different question, and I should like to see it on the Order Paper.

Iron And Steel (Subsidiary Companies)

18.

asked the Minister of Supply if he is now in a position to announce any alterations to the lists, published on 15th and 22nd November, 1948, of subsidiary companies belonging to iron and steel companies named in the Third Schedule to the Iron and Steel Bill.

In consequence of Amendments of the Third Schedule to the Iron and Steel Bill, and information which has recently become available to me, there is an appreciable number of amendments to the lists circulated on 15th and 22nd November, 1948. I am sending the hon. Member a revised list showing, according to my present information, the wholly-owned and controlled subsidiaries of companies at present named in the Third Schedule to the Iron and Steel Bill, and I am also arranging for a copy to be placed in the Library of the House.

In view of the intense interest in this matter, could the Minister arrange for the list to be released through the Press Association or, if not, for it to be published in HANSARD?

Yes, I will look into that. I am reluctant to publish it in HANSARD, for the list is very long and will probably have to be revised again.

The right hon. Gentleman could publish the alterations in HANSARD, perhaps?

Government Contractors

19.

asked the Minister of Supply whether the firm of Bon Marche Limited, of Brixton, is on the list of Government contractors.

12.

asked the Minister of Supply whether John Lewis (Partnership) are on the list of Government contractors.

No, Sir; neither of these firms is on the Ministry of Supply list.