Mr. G. MURRAY
asked the Prime Minister what Department is at present responsible for the control of the Georgetown Filling Factory premises and land situated in the West of Scotland; whether he is aware that there is a large quantity of war and hospital material which, in spite of expense and railway congestion, has been brought there and stored, much of which is either useless or should be sold at once; whether he is aware that some 1,000 persons are now employed by the Government at Georgetown; and whether, with a view to economy, he will have a special inquiry instituted at once into the necessity for the expenditure that is being incurred and into the possibilities of reducing it in part or altogether?
§ Mr. CHURCHILL
My right hon. Friend has asked me to reply. I would refer my hon. Friend to the reply given on the 14th July last in answer to a previous question of his about Georgetown to the effect that these premises were taken over by the War Department as an Ordnance Depot for North Britain. There is a large quantity of war material at this depot, a great portion of it being cadre equipments, including guns, carriages and other technical stores brought from oversea. These have to be inspected and overhauled with a view to setting aside those which are for retention and fit to be retained and those which are to be disposed of, and it is obvious that work of this sort must take some time. To carry out the work of in-674W specting, sorting, handling and preparing for disposal all the equipments, etc., the staff of some 1,131 persons are now employed at Georgetown. There are also a quantity of stores at this depot now awaiting disposal by the Disposal Board, and my hon. Friend will realise that it must take time to dispose by sale of the large amount of material which has been reported surplus to Army requirements in all parts of the country. The whole question of the future storage requirements of the Army is now being considered by a Committee at the War Office, and until the position is clearer it cannot be definitely stated what installations will be given up. It is, however, probable that Georgetown will not be permanently required by the War Office.