HC Deb 08 February 1944 vol 396 c1609
22. Mr. Douglas

asked the Secretary of State for War whether his attention has been called to a case in which some children of Nine Elms, Battersea, were convicted of stealing bombs from an Army dump; and what steps are being taken to make such dangerous articles inaccessible to children.

Sir J. Grigg

Extensive measures are taken to guard Army ammunition, partly by keeping it locked up in barbed wire enclosures and partly by organising mobile guards to watch the stores. But I regret that it cannot be stored in such conditions that no thief can possibly reach it. For example, I am informed that the boys involved in the theft to which my hon. Friend refers had to cross a strong barbed wire fence and break off a heavy padlock with a crowbar in order to get into the store.

Mr. Douglas

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that these boys were only nine or 10 years of age?

Sir J. Grigg

I should think that their future is extremely unpromising.

Mr. Gallacher

What sort of watch is kept when boys can climb over such a fence and steal bombs?

Sir J. Grigg

Unfortunately, with the extremely high degree of mobilisation of man-power in this country, you cannot insure against every possible contingency.