§ 19. Mr. Douglas Marshall
asked the First Lord of the Admiralty how many naval holding stores have been closed down in Belgium, France, Holland and other countries; how many blankets were disposed of from these stores; and how the disposal of all these stores was carried out.
§ The Parliamentary and Financial Secretary to the Admiralty (Mr. John Dugdale)
Four naval store or victualling store depots formerly established at bases in Europe have been closed, and eight elsewhere. Other depots have been reduced in size, or are preparing for closing. In addition, numerous temporary base organisations have been established and closed according to immediate requirements, but precise particulars of these are not available.
Surplus stores are disposed of by transfer elsewhere to meet naval needs or, if surplus to overall naval requirements, by allocation to other Government services or relief or rehabilitation services, or by local sale effected by the naval authorities, or by transfer to other disposal departments. No information is available as to the number of surplus naval blankets which may have been disposed of by these methods, but the numbers are not thought to have been large. All surplus blankets abroad are now, however, being brought to the United Kingdom for disposal.
§ Colonel Ropner
May I ask if instructions could not be issued that all Service stores which become surplus on the Continent, and are of a type required by the inhabitants of this country, should be brought back for sale here?
§ Mr. Dugdale
Every effort is made to dispose of all surplus products which can be used by civilians, and I will look into the point raised by the hon. and gallant Gentleman.