HC Deb 01 June 1954 vol 528 cc1068-9
33. Mr. W. Griffiths

asked the Secretary of State for War in what circumstances units of the Regular or Territorial Army are employed on the construction of Bailey bridges for local authorities; and how many cases of such employment have occurred in the last 12 months.

Mr. J. R. H. Hutchison

Tasks of this kind may only be undertaken if various conditions are fulfilled. The main ones are that the work has good training value which is not otherwise available: that it is undertaken for a public authority or other non-profit making concern; that the agreement of the trade unions and the employers' associations has been obtained; and that any cost above that essential for military training shall be borne by the civilian authority. Prior War Office approval is needed in all cases. This approval has been given on five occasions in the past 12 months.

Mr. Griffiths

Is the Minister aware that my advice is that some trade unions in the Manchester area have taken the strongest exception to his Department intervening in matters of this kind, and will he look into the matter?

Mr. Hutchison

I will certainly look into it.

Mr. Paget

Is the hon. Member aware that the trade unions and everyone else would be extremely grateful if he would build one at Hayling Island.