§ 100. Major GLYN
asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Munitions whether, at the present rate of progress, by the 30th April all the stores and material worth salving from France, Belgium, and other theatres of war would have been disposed of; whether he had been able to assure the War Office that no troops or hired Chinese labourers would be required on and after that date in any recent theatre of war overseas; and whether, if this was not the case, he would consider the advantage of making a contract with some civilian firms or corporations for carrying out salvage operations after the 30th April, 1920, thus enabling the complete demobilisation of all troops in France, Belgium and other recent theatres of war to be completed?
At the present rate of progress, it is probable that the great bulk of the surplus stores and material in Belgium, France, and Italy will have been disposed of by 30th April, 1920; but it is obviously impossible to give an assurance that no troops or Chinese labourers will be required after that date in any theatre of war. The Disposal Board is always prepared to consider the employment of civilian firms or corporations for carrying out on their behalf the duties for which they are responsible, and arrangements are at present under discussion with the Departments concerned for carrying on the necessary services in theatres of war with civilian labour, after the demobilisation of the troops at present engaged thereon.
§ Major GLYN
May I ask whether, in consultation with the War Office, some satisfaction could be given to officers and 410 men still kept in France who are unable to make their own arrangements, and could not some announcement be made as to whether or not these troops are to be employed in France?