HC Deb 07 June 1920 vol 130 cc18-9
48. Major GLYN

asked the Lord Privy Seal whether he is aware that a quantity of ammunition still remaining undisposed of in France and Flanders is rapidly reaching a condition of considerable danger through deterioration and climatic agencies; whether, should this ammunition explode, the British Government will become liable to large sums of money for damage done to life and property; and whether he will cause united action to be taken by the Departments (War Office, Ministry of Munitions and Foreign Office) concerned in order to remove these 120,000 tons of ammunition to be broken down or sunk without delay?

Mr. BONAR LAW (Leader of the House)

Every endeavour is being made by Departments concerned to accelerate disposal or removal of surplus ammunition remaining in France and Flanders. A considerable quantity remains in dumps which conform to French Safety Regulations and which are regularly inspected by French experts, and in any cases where danger is suspected special precautions are taken.

Major GLYN

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that trucks and barges are lying idle in French ports because they are unable to get the ammunition to take it away?


I am not aware of that. I will inquire into it.

49. Major GLYN

asked the Lord Privy Seal whether he is aware that the work of clearing up in France and Belgium those financial and other obligations is greatly hindered, so far as the military authorities are concerned, by the fact that it is impossible to settle outstanding Army claims so long as the Ministry of Munitions Disposals Board still hold surplus stores unsold; and whether, under these circumstances, the Government will authorise the financial branch of the War Office to settle all Army claims forthwith, and instruct the Ministry of Munitions to settle all other claims affected by the operations of the Disposals Board from and subsequent to 1st July.


My hon. and gallant Friend is under a misapprehension. There is no connection between outstanding Army claims and surplus stores held by the Disposals Board.

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