HC Deb 01 November 1944 vol 404 cc784-5
23. Captain Strickland

asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of War Transport how many road lorries were despatched empty from London to Gloucester between 15th and 19th October to pick up fibre board; whether such loads were available at that destination; and by whose instructions the vehicles were despatched.

Mr. Noel-Baker

Between the 15th and 19th October, the Road Haulage Organisation sent 77 vehicles from London to Gloucester, 45 of them carried no loads on their outward journeys for the reason that none was available. Some of the vehicles brought back fibre board, which was urgently required for the repair of houses in London which had been damaged by flying bombs; others carried loads of the highest priority for the Armed Forces of the United -States, or other' essential and urgent traffic.

Captain Strickland

Could my hon. Friend tell me how many Vehicles went to Gloucester and did not pickup loads there and were then sent from Gloucester to other places? Will he also answer the last part of the Question—who is responsible, and also whether there is any telephone communication to see if loads were available before the vehicles were despatched from London?

Mr. Noel-Baker

The Road Haulage Organisation of the Ministry was responsible, and they took all proper precautions to get loads both ways if they could be got. On the return journey the loads carried were all essential arid, as I have said, of the highest priority. They included a secret move for the- American Army, which had to be carried out within 48 hours.

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