HC Deb 21 May 1946 vol 423 c176
28. Mr. Sutcliffe

asked the Secretary of State for War whether he is aware of the danger of serious injury to R.A.S.C. drivers in Southern Italy at the present time on account of the placing of obstructions in the way of lorries containing foodstuffs by gangs of young men intent on plundering such vehicles; and what action is being taken by the military authorities to safeguard British lives and property in this connection.

Mr. Lawson

I have had a report on this matter from Italy, and I am informed that the suggestion that R.A.S.C. drivers are constantly in danger of serious injury is groundless. Local orders already provide that one man will travel in the back of every vehicle and a passenger will also travel in the driver's cab when sufficient manpower is available. All possible help is being given by the British Army to the Italian authorities to assist in the prevention of pilfering.

Mr. Sutcliffe

Is the Minister aware that windscreens have been smashed by bricks, that bricks have been hung on the ends of ropes from bridges to catch the windscreens of the lorries as they pass underneath, and that young men have laid down on the road in order to stop these lorries so that others can jump in? Is he also aware that I have evidence from men who have served out there, and will he look further into the question?

Mr. Lawson

I am much obliged to the hon. Member for his information. If he will give me the definite facts, I will have them investigated, because I am told that there is nothing.