HC Deb 04 February 1942 vol 377 cc1174-5
37. Mr. Viant

asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Works and Buildings whether he is satisfied that all iron and steel material made available, as a consequence of the appeal to the public to save such metal, is being directly used for the national war effort and that none of this metal is being resold by merchants for private purposes?

Mr. Hicks

I have fully realised this possibility, and while being satisfied that the great majority of scrap dealers will carry out any instructions both in the letter and the spirit, I have an assurance that, in the event of it being proved that any merchant has resold any such material otherwise than as scrap, his licence to trade will be revoked.

Mr. Viant

Has the Minister yet attained the objective he had in view, 40,000 tons a week?

Mr. Hicks

That is the amount which my Department has undertaken to collect and is the amount necessary to meet the country's needs. It is over and above the metal collected by scrap metal merchants in their normal run of business. I will do my best to collect 40,000 tons per week, and every nook and cranny of the country will be searched in order to get it, but I cannot guarantee that it will be done. The best ability of my Department will be devoted to trying to get 40,000 tons per week.

Commander Locker-Lampson

Is there not a lot of metal uncollected that has remained uncollected for the last two years?

Mr. Hicks

We have broadcast and circularised, and tried to get in touch with people through the Press, to ask them to advise us where there is metal lying about. We are also making a national survey. We have a plan for collecting the metal, working county by county. We hope that as we go through the counties we shall be able to clear up all the scrap.