HC Deb 12 February 1947 vol 433 cc343-4
12. Mr. H. Hynd

asked the Secretary of State for Air what efforts are being made to clear goods from redundant ground equipment depots in order to avoid further loss, waste and deterioration.

Mr. P. Noel-Baker

There are five ground equipment depots in this country, from which goods and equipment are steadily being cleared. Equipment needed by the Royal Air Force is transferred to seven permanent storage depots. Surplus equipment is declared for disposal to the Ministry of Supply. Goods that might deteriorate are properly stored. The depot staff are constantly reminded that they must avoid all waste or loss, and in general I am satisfied that a difficult task is being handled well.

Mr. Hynd

Is the Minister aware that it is impossible to store these goods without deterioration occurring and that it would be much quicker and more economical to dispose of them by direct sales, to the public?

Mr. Noel-Baker

I am afraid we must hand them over to the Department which disposes of them. I do not think we could set up a sales organisation. We are doing our best to accelerate this disposal but we are hampered by shortage of labour.

Major Bruce

Would my right hon. Friend make sure that there is no generating equipment included in these depots?