§ 17. Sir A. WILLIAMSON
asked the Secretary of State for War if, in view of the shortage of tank steamers, he will consider the advisability of shipping petrol for the use of the Army direct from America to France in tins by ordinary cargo steamers instead of bringing it in bulk to England in tank steamers, landing it, putting it in tins, reshipping it by other steamers to France, and using further transport to bring back the empties; and whether he is aware that, besides economy in the use of tank steamers, there would be a considerable saving of cost?
§ Mr. FORSTER
Only a proportion of the petrol requirements for France is tinned in this country, and that proportion will be lessened in the future. The course proposed in the first part of the question has been considered, and the balance of advantage has been held to be against it.
§ Mr. HOUSTON
Does the hon. Gentleman realise that the suggestion of the hon. Member is sensible, economical, and practical, and will he press this view upon the Admiralty?
§ Mr. FORSTER
It may be practical, and sensible, and possess all the other attributes to which my hon. Friend refers, and yet the balance of advantage may be against it.
§ 74. Mr. RENDALL
asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he is willing to direct that road surveyors should be placed in Class A instead of Class B, so as to enable them to get sufficient petrol to discharge their official duties; that many surveyors are doing double and treble duty for absent officers; that the roads have to be regularly inspected, especially in districts like Bristol and Salisbury, where military transports are numerous; and that 24 gallons for three months for 250 miles of roads is barely a quarter of what is necessary?
§ The FIRST COMMISSIONER of WORKS (Mr. Harcourt)
Owing to the present shortage of petrol, I am afraid that it is improbable that the Petrol Control Committee will be able to increase the amounts of petrol that road surveyors have been authorised to procure.