HC Deb 27 November 1941 vol 376 c894
70. Captain Profumo

asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Supply whether his attention has been called to the large resources of iron and steel in the form of old motor-cars and chassis, which are at the moment acting as road blocks, as well as many large scrap-heaps throughout the country; and whether it is his intention to utilise these to convert into weapons of war?

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

The use of old motor-cars and chassis as road blocks is a defence measure, and the policy with regard to the establishment of such road blocks is a matter for the military authorities. Energetic measures are being taken at the present time to recover the maximum tonnage possible of scrap iron and steel of all types from home sources, and it is inevitable in these circumstances that there should be. substantial accumulations in the scrap yards and at dumps of material awaiting disposal to consuming points.

Captain Profumo

Does my hon. Friend realise that many villages have been meticulously gathering together all old scrap iron, and that it has never been collected; and that they are wondering whether the Ministry want it or not? Is he aware that a motor-car is no good against a tank, but that it would be extremely good inside a tank?

Mr. Macmillan

I have often said that unfortunately scrap is in the nature of capital, not interest. We must often leave the scrap for a considerable time, and must move it in accordance with a plan for those works for which it is most appropriate.

Sir W. Davison

Cannot the Ministry clear away these old motor-cars, which are an eyesore and a nuisance?