HC Deb 31 January 1940 vol 356 cc1144-5
60. Sir R. Clarry

asked the Minister of Supply whether he is aware that Government contractors often find difficulties under the existing timber control arrangements in obtaining requisite supplies of timber to carry out their contracts owing to the contractor, although holding a permit, being unable to obtain either a quotation or supply from timber merchants which would necessitate reducing their stocks; and whether he will consider giving the timber control department the necessary power to requisition stocks held by merchants whenever necessary?

Colonel Llewellin

I am aware that such difficulties have occurred in certain cases. A suitable remedy is under consideration.

62. Rear-Admiral Beamish

asked the Minister of Supply what are the steps, and the results of them, that he is taking to discover alternatives to timber for use as parts of military hutments and for similar armament purposes; and whether the timber now used for hutments is so cut and fitted as to render it afterwards adaptable for purposes other than Army requirements?

Colonel Llewellin

I can assure my hon. and gallant Friend that very thorough investigation is in progress with a view to securing every possible economy of timber wherever it is used. In hutments that are now being built and for future hutment contracts the use of timber has been practically eliminated, being confined to doors and windows, except in the case of some Nissen huts. Full use is being made of such substitute materials as brick, coke breeze and concrete slabbing. Such timber as is used will, however, be of little subsequent use for other purposes.

Mr. R. Gibson

Are these alternatives for timber being brought to the notice of persons charged with the completion of housing schemes?

Colonel Llewellin

I believe that is so. There are representatives of all Department s on the sub-committee which deals with these matters, and they are aware of it. For detailed information on that point the hon. Member ought to put a Question down to the Minister of Health or the Secretary of State for Scotland.