HC Deb 15 March 1920 vol 126 cc1852-3W

asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Munitions how many dumps or other stores of war material or commissariat are now remaining unsold in the various theatres of the late war; whether it is practicable to return foodstuffs to England and make them available for sale with a view to diminishing the effect of the present high prices; and when it is contemplated that the whole of the Government stores collected for war purposes will be disposed of?


Over 700 dumps of surplus stores in France have been sold, and about 100 dumps remain to be disposed of. In addition, there are a number of docks, repair shops, factories, and railway depots which are still unsold. The bulk of the food supplies has already been sold, and the tenders which are out for the remainder close on the 20th instant. In consequence of the difficulties of transport and labour, it was considered advisable to sell foodstuffs in France. The estimated value of these stocks to-day is £16,000. Their return to this country could not, therefore, materially affect the present prices at Home. Whilst every effort is being made to dispose of surplus stores in France as rapidly as possible, I am at present unable to give any definite undertaking as to when disposals will be completed. In Italy it is hoped that all surplus stores will be sold within a month or six weeks. In Salonika the position has recently been complicated by uncertainty as to military requirements, and in this and other theatres of war I am unable to say more at the moment than that every effort is being made to accelerate the disposal of stores which have been notified as surplus to requirements.