HC Deb 11 August 1919 vol 119 cc882-3

asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Munitions whether the Inver-Court Experimental Station of the inventions branch of the Ministry is still being carried on, and, if so, for what purpose; whether experiments are being made there in converting munitions into articles which would have a sale in peace time; whether any success has been achieved in these experiments; what other work, if any, is being carried on there; what the present expense per week is; and what has been the total expenditure on this experimental station since the signing of the Armistice?


The Inver Court Experimental Station is temporarily being carried on for experimental work in the improvement of artificial limbs. The depot is also conducting important experiments in connection with the utilisation of surplus war material for articles of a peace-time value, particularly the adaptation of aero engines as stationary engines. Considerable progress has been made in the investigation of the possible uses of internal combustion engines designed for war purposes (such as aero engines, tank engines) as stationary engines for commercial purposes with various fuels—for example, coal gas, producer gas, etc. —and should result inconsiderably enhanced prices being obtained in many cases.

The present expenditure per week on this experimental station is approximately £460. The total expenditure on the station since the Armistice has been £16,500. I may add that three months' notice to terminate the lease under which the ground is held was given over a month ago.


Is there any prospect of the station yielding more profit than its cost?


Oh, very considerably. It must be quite obvious that if we find a commercial use for war engines it will yield considerably more.