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Maintenance Unit, Market Drayton

Volume 496: debated on Wednesday 20 February 1952

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asked the Under-Secretary of State for Air if he is aware of the wastage of manpower, machine tools and building materials, at No. 30 Maintenance Unit, Royal Air Force, near Market Drayton; and if he will take action to secure more economical employment of resources at this station.

I take it that the hon. Member has in mind the building being done at the unit. I will certainly look into any evidence of waste which the hon. Member sends me, but I should like to make it clear that this work is being done under a contract which was let after competitive tender. It is in the interest of the contractor to avoid waste.

Is the Minister really satisfied that the carrying out of this £80,000 contract is being properly supervised? Is he aware, for example, of the allegation of the burning of large quantities of linoleum and of men being kept idle for weeks? Will he cause his Department to make a strenuous investigation?

I am obliged to the hon. Gentleman for raising this matter. I am not altogether satisfied with what is going on, and I noticed with interest the interview which the hon. Gentleman gave to a local paper on the subject. I also think that this scale of building work is very big. On the other hand, that was done by His late Majesty's advisers, and not by the present Government.

Is my hon. Friend aware that there are many complaints from other depots in Staffordshire with regard to the wastage that is going on, and will he not ask his officers to make a special investigation into this matter, which is causing great public anxiety?

I am aware that there are a number of complaints, and the matter is under investigation.