HC Deb 20 April 1948 vol 449 cc1620-1
37. Mr. De la Bère

asked the Secretary of State for War whether he will give an assurance that all classes of material, steel and timber, machinery, implements and tools which are being allowed to deteriorate and in many cases become useless at the Royal Engineers Depot, Long Marston, shall be disposed of and made available to the industries in need of such stores and material.

Mr. Shinwell

This depot contains stores of which a very large proportion are needed to provide and maintain reasonable standards of accommodation and amenities for the Army at home and abroad. These stocks are being steadily reduced by regular issues. It is the object to declare surplus any item which, although needed for Army purposes in the near future, may become useless before issue. In deciding what is to be released, therefore, the possibility of deterioration and future requirements have to be balanced. Reasonable precautions are taken to prevent deterioration, consistent with economical expenditure on storage accommodation.

Mr. De la Bère

Is not the right hon. Gentleman aware that there are at present, apart from requirements, very large surpluses which could be put to some useful purpose?

Mr. Shinwell

We have large surpluses, but we have to consider these matters carefully because of the need for future stocks.