HC Deb 11 June 1947 vol 438 cc1063-4
45. Mr. D. Marshall

asked the Minister of Defence how many committees are at the moment dealing with matters concerning the standardisation of non-warlike equipment.

The Minister of Defence (Mr. A. V. Alexander)

There are numerous Departmental and inter-Departmental bodies dealing with the standardisation of particular categories of non-warlike stores used by the Services. I have recently appointed a Joint Non-Warlike Stores Standardisation Committee to give some central direction to the study of this matter, and to co-ordinate the activities of these bodies.

Mr. Marshall

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that there are over 70 committees dealing with this subject at the present time?

Mr. Alexander

We are not dealing with a central subject. There may be a number of small expert committees dealing with the many particular commodities which require standardisation.

Mr. Stokes

Whatever the number of committees involved, will my right hon. Friend assure us that standardisation will not lead to disastrous consequences in design, as it so often does?

Mr. Berry

Will my right hon. Friend avail himself of the services of the British Standards Institution, which has done such marvellous work in this direction?

Mr. Alexander

I think my Department is in close touch with that Institution.

Mr. Usborne

What is the definition of, "non-warlike equipment," if it comes under the jurisdiction of the Minister of Defence?

Mr. Alexander

It covers such items as military clothing, boots and shoes, and perhaps nuts and bolts.