HC Deb 06 April 1954 vol 526 cc186-7
44. Mr. Ian Harvey

asked the Secretary of State for War whether the practice of whitewashing coal, which has been brought to his attention by the hon. Member for Harrow, East, has now been expressly forbidden as a military duty by his Department.

Mr. Head

Coal may sometimes be whitewashed to mark the edge of a coal dump for safety hi the dark or as a check against pilfering. I think this has led to the old Army legend that it is sometimes done to please inspecting officers, an instance of which has yet to be proved.

Mr. Harvey

Is my right hon. Friend aware that a pail of whitewash would soon overcome this device against the pilfering of coal? As this is, in any case, a very silly practice, can it be stopped?

Mr. Logan

May I take it that this method is not going to be adopted in this House?

Mr. Head

Yes, Sir. I think there are a lot of things that might be whitewashed, but not that.