HC Deb 11 December 1945 vol 417 cc201-2
66. Flight-Lieutenant Haire

asked the Secretary of State for War whether he will now remove ammunition dumps on agricultural land.

Mr. Lawson

As I have previously explained, very large stocks of ammunition are stored throughout the country and while every effort is being made to dispose of it as. quickly as possible, facilities for disposal are limited. Very little agricultural land is in use for this purpose and this consists entirely of headlands. Priority of clearance is being given to such land and the closest touch is maintained with local farmers.

67. Mr. Benn Levy

asked the Secretary of State for War when he will be able substantially to reduce the present term of overseas service for troops.

76. Lieut.-Colonel Sharp

asked the Secretary of State for War when he will relax the regulation that men in M.E.F. and C.M.F. must serve there for four years before qualifying for repatriation.

Mr. Lawson

I cannot at present add anything to the reply I gave to the hon. and gallant Member for North Blackpool (Brigadier Low) on 9th October, so far as length of the qualifying period for overseas service is concerned.

Mr. Levy

Can the Minister not even hold out some hope to these expatriates that somehow soon there will be a reduction?

Mr. Lawson

That suggestion has my sympathy, but I want to see the lower qualifications working properly before I make a decision, as I want to keep my promise when a decision is made.

88. Mr. Norman Bower

asked the Secretary of State for War why the 129th Field Regiment, R.A., has not yet been brought home, in view of the fact that the 36th L.A.A. Regiment, R.A., and the 123rd Field Regiment, R.A., which went out with them in the "Orion," in June, 1942, have both arrived in this country.

Mr. Lawson

Units move according to Army requirements but this does not affect the repatriation of individuals. A unit which remains overseas sends home individually any men due for repatriation. Such men have to be replaced. When a unit is no longer required and returns home it leaves behind any men who are not due for repatriation, for posting as replacements to other units. Both the field regiments mentioned are still in India.