§ Mr. Dunn
asked the Secretary of State for War how much of the £200,000 promised for radios has been spent; how many radios paid for by this fund have been distributed to the Services; whether he is aware that many units are greatly in need of these radios at present; and what steps he proposes to take to accelerate the immediate supply to the troops?
§ Captain Margesson
Orders have been placed for the manufacture of 11,700 special sets, which, together with spare parts, will cost about £150,000. Some £30,000 has been spent on 4,000 sets which have been purchased from manufacturers, and most of these have now been issued. It is proposed to spend the remaining £20,000 on more spare parts for the special sets. There has necessarily been some delay in obtaining the 11,700 special sets, as they have had to be specially manufactured, and contain some parts which have to be obtained from America. The main object of these sets is to enable the B.B.C. programmes to be received by troops when there are no electric mains facilities. It was desired to avoid using dry batteries, as they are becoming difficult to obtain, and last for a comparatively short time. Hence we were advised that it would be in the best interests of the troops to obtain specially manufactured sets, even though this resulted in some delay. All possible steps have been taken to expedite the supply as much as possible, and the Ministry of Supply, through whom the orders have been placed, are fully alive to the urgency.