HC Deb 29 May 1940 vol 361 cc539-41
46. Mr. Glenvil Hall

asked the Minister of Supply whether he will consult the Minister of Transport on the possibility of utilising for war purposes the standards placed at pedestrian crossings throughout the country, particularly where such crossings are plainly marked by studs or traffic lights?

Mr. H. Morrison

I have consulted my right hon. Friend the Minister of Transport in regard to this matter. Apart from the considerations of public safety which would be involved in the removal of the standards placed at pedestrian crossings, the relatively small tonnage of scrap material which would become available would not in present circumstances justify the labour of collection and of the necessary repairs to public footways.

Sir T. Moore

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that the general public take no notice of these standards at the present time, and are guided only by the studs on the roads?

Mr. Morrison

I have opinions upon this matter but as I am not Minister of Transport, it would not be wise for me to give utterance to them.

Mr. Glenvil Hall

Would it not be possible to save labour by cutting off these standards level with the pavement?

Mr. Morrison

We will give consideration to that point, but the hon. Member will appreciate the fact that the Minister of Transport is very much concerned in this matter and I must take his view into account.

48. Mr. Cocks

asked the Minister of Supply whether steps are being taken to collect the iron railings in London and other parts of the country, wherever public safety permits, for conversion into scrap metal for war purposes?

Mr. Morrison

The question of utilising unnecessary iron railings as scrap has been constantly before my Department. Surveys have been carried out and representations made to the public authorities and private owners concerned in a number of cases, while a public campaign has been undertaken to persuade the general public to release railings for scrap. The action taken has been successful and the movement to give up railings is gathering momentum. If, however, I am at any time dissatisfied with the progress which is being made, I shall be ready to take further steps.

Sir William Davison

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that it has taken a war to secure the removal of the dangerous and unnecessary "shin" rails from Hyde Park; and will he do what he can to have them all removed as quickly as possible?

Mr. Morrison

I think that is a question for another Minister.

Major Milner

Is the Minister aware that iron railings are now being erected round certain factories in the Midlands?

Mr. Morrison

I would not like to express an opinion about that. There may be security reasons for it. If my hon. and gallant Friend will give me particulars, I will have the matter looked into.

Mr. Garro Jones

Will the Minister consider the collection of material in a sphere in which there is an infinitely greater shortage, namely that of aluminium products, used for household purposes?

Mr. Morrison

Yes, I will look into that.

Mr. Kirkwood

Is not this a glorious opportunity for the Minister to issue instructions that spiked railings should be done away with all over the country?

Mr. Morrison

I am not sure that spiked railings may not be very useful.