HC Deb 19 December 1941 vol 376 cc2231-2
9. Major Lyons

asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Supply what steps he is taking, in view of the urgency consequent upon changed conditions, to acquire immediately all unnecessary metal railings for war purposes; whether, to this end, he will withdraw the scheduling by local authorities and so avoid the delay which this has permitted; and why, in particular, has no dismantling yet been made of the ornamental rails surrounding the offices of the Milk Marketing Board, to which his attention has been previously drawn?

The Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Supply (Mr. Harold Macmillan)

The acquisition of unnecessary railings has been undertaken on behalf of the Ministry of Supply by the Ministry of Works and Buildings, and a systematic programme of recovery has been arranged from which substantial results are being obtained. Methods for expediting the scheduling of railings by local authorities are being investigated. As regards the last part of the Question, these railings will be dealt with when a clearance scheme for the district operates. It is impracticable to deal with special cases.

Major Lyons

Is it not possible to arrange this scheme in some better way so that local residents are not asked to surrender their railings at a time when the Milk Marketing Board during the war are erecting and painting their rails? Will the Minister take steps to remedy this position which ought never to have been created?

Mr. Macmillan

My hon. and gallant Friend must bear in mind that transport is very limited and it is not always practicable to administer these schemes as one would like. Moreover we do not take the railings down here and there, but we move from district to district.

Major Lyons

Is not the Minister aware that private residents were asked by circular for the removal of the railings from their houses while the Milk Marketing Board were erecting railings around their property? Will he take steps so that in the national interest this really ludicrous position is ended?