HC Deb 02 April 1957 vol 568 cc218-9
20. Mr. Gough

asked the Secretary of State for War how many lorries and how many civilian drivers are on the establishment of a bomb disposal unit, Royal Engineers, Broadbridge Heath; and how many jobs per week these lorries have had over the past six weeks.

The Under-Secretary of State for War (Mr. Julian Amery)

Forty-three vehicles; 43 civilian drivers; an average of 200 jobs a week.

Mr. Gough

Will my hon. Friend be surprised if I tell him that there is a feeling in the neighbourhood that practically no work of that nature has been carried out over the past six years? Will he receive from me a letter on the subject, because I cannot understand the information which he has given to me?

Mr. Amery

I will gladly receive any communication from my hon. Friend.

22. Mr. Gough

asked the Secretary of State for War what system exists at Headquarters, Bomb Disposal Unit, Royal Engineers, Broadbridge Heath, for checking the use of petrol; and to what extent that unit is empowered to lend out its equipment for use on neighbouring farms.

Mr. J. Amery

The normal Army procedure for checking the use of petrol applies. This unit has no power to lend equipment except when giving assistance to non-profit making concerns or civil authorities in accordance with clearly laid down rules.

Mr. Gough

Does my hon. Friend appreciate, in view of these three Questions, that there is a good deal of local concern about this unit and a great deal of feeling that the unit is extremely expensive and not performing its functions? Will he go more carefully into the matter?

Mr. Amery

I will await my hon. Friend's communication on this matter. Meanwhile, I cannot be regarded as confirming what he has just said.