HC Deb 31 October 1944 vol 404 cc603-4
4. Mr. Ellis Smith

asked the Secretary of State for War if he can make a statement on the record of our mechanised equipment, vehicles, etc., during the advance in France, on the results obtained by our tanks, giving the speed and distances covered, the percentage of mechanical failures and any other information about the success gained by mechanical equipment and vehicles.

Sir J. Grigg

I have had no formal and detailed reports on the performance of British mechanical equipment during the advance in France. There has, however, been a good deal of information which goes to show that it was highly satisfactory. Anyhow, the results appear to have been so. Moreover, there is clear evidence of this from the fact that the maintenance load was very small and much less than expected. So far as tanks in particular are concerned I can say that the Cromwell tanks of one armoured division covered 250 miles in six days, and, in spite of the fact that there were no opportunities for the normal maintenance during this period, the losses from mechanical defects were practically negligible.

Mr. Smith

Will the Secretary of State consult the Minister of Information with a view to having that reply printed in bold type, and posted in the engineering establishments responsible for these tanks?

Sir J. Grigg

I will certainly consider it.