HC Deb 29 January 1941 vol 368 cc554-5
46. Mr. Simmonds

asked the Prime Minister which Department is responsible for the salvage of goods from bombed warehouses and wholesale and retail premises?

The Lord Privy Seal (Mr. Attlee)

The primary responsibility for the salvage of damaged goods rests with their owner, or, in certain cases, the holder, but in order to conserve the national resources various Government Departments have taken the necessary steps to arrange for the prompt salvage of goods with which they are concerned, whether the goods are owned by them or not. Thus, the Ministry of Food act for foodstuffs, the Ministry of Supply for raw materials and machine tools, and the Board of Trade for goods insured under the Commodity Insurance Scheme. A member of the staff of the Regional Commissioner, acting as Regional Salvage Officer, is ready to assist where required and to co-ordinate the activities of all concerned.

Mr. Simmonds

Is my right hon. Friend aware that there is very little liaison between, say, the Ministry of Food and the Ministry of Supply on this subject, and that when a warehouse which contains goods coming under two different Ministries is bombed the Ministry which turns up first looks after its own supplies, and very often damages the supplies of the other Ministry? Could he see that closer liaison between the Departments is maintained?

Mr. Attlee

Perhaps my hon. Friend will give me instances, and I will take them up with the Departments concerned.

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