HC Deb 17 February 1948 vol 447 c969
12. Sir R. Glyn

asked the Secretary of State for War how many troops at home are being employed in sorting stores and dealing with unwanted ammunition; what is the position in the various commands as regards the clearing of land for agricultural use by removing unexploded bombs, etc.; and by what date is it contemplated that this task will be completed.

Mr. Shinwell

As the answer contains a number of figures, I will, with permission, circulate it in the OFFICIAL REPORT.

Following is the answer:

There are about 1,800 troops employed on sorting unwanted stores for disposal, and 4,600 in dealing with unwanted ammunition. As regards the second and third parts of the Question, 139,480 acres of land used for training during the war and now earmarked for release are still held awaiting clearance of unexploded missiles: in Northern Command, 54,250 acres; in Eastern Command, 3,700 acres; in Southern Command, 8,500 acres; and in Western Command, 73,030 acres. Most of the land is heathland of little agricultural value. Because of the shortage of troops in the United Kingdom only a very small number can be employed continuously on clearance, but every opportunity is taken to use any men available. I am unable to forecast when the task will be completed.