HC Deb 22 November 1955 vol 546 cc1240-1
8. Mr. J. R. H. Hutchison

asked the Secretary of State for War how the sale of surplus Army stores in the Canal Zone is proceeding; how much remains to be sold; whether satisfactory prices have been obtained for items sold; and who the principal buyers were.

Mr. F. Maclean

Sales are going well and prices paid have on the whole been satisfactory. The biggest single buyer has been the Egyptian Government and other buyers have been mainly Egyptian dealers. Of the whole surplus only about 20 per cent. by weight is still unsold.

Mr. Hutchison

Is my hon. Friend satisfied that the prices paid by the Egyptian Government are as good as could be obtained elsewhere?

Mr. Maclean

Yes, Sir, the prices on the whole have been satisfactory.

Mr. Shinwell

May I ask the hon. Gentleman whether any proposal has been made to any other country in the Middle East—for example, the State of Israel—to purchase some of these surplus stores?

Mr. Maclean

The sales have been advertised by the Ministry of Supply, and they were certainly open to other purchasers.

30. Mr. Bellenger

asked the Secretary of State for War what amount of stores and equipment has become surplus owing to the disbandment of Anti-Aircraft Command; and what is happening to it.

Mr. Head

The main items are about 5,600 guns, 900 searchlights, 1,300 radar equipments and predictors and 2,000 generators and they will be disposed of in a variety of ways.

Mr. Bellenger

I should have thought that answer obvious without my putting the Question. Cannot the right hon. Gentleman tell us something about the various ways?

Mr. Head

Some of the best equipment is wanted by the Admiralty. The Ministry of Supply want some for experiment. Some of it will go to other Departments. The worst will be scrapped. Some of the remainder will go to the Commonwealth and some to foreign Governments.