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Stores (Losses And Thefts)

Volume 464: debated on Tuesday 3 May 1949

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asked the Secretary of State for War in view of the Report of the Comptroller and Auditor-General on page vii of the Appropriation Account, 1947–48, paragraphs 25 and 26, in which he refers to losses and theft due to fraud and gross negligence, what steps he is taking to discover and take disciplinary action against the offenders.

The losses occurred mainly at overseas stations, many of them during or immediately following the war. Large quantities of stores and supplies were necessarily stored in the open or in inadequate accommodation, and sufficient reliable guards were rarely available. Whenever Army personnel were involved in the losses, Courts of Inquiry were held, and disciplinary action has been taken where appropriate. The hon. Member will, however, appreciate that the thefts were usually by local civilians.