HC Deb 17 December 1945 vol 417 c1066W
Major H. Fraser

asked the Minister of Supply and of Aircraft Production, in view of the recent jettisoning of hundreds of radio sets into disused mineshafts at Cheadle, Staffordshire, whether their valves, resistances and condensers were first salvaged; if so, why alternate loads of rubble were dumped into the shafts; and how many of these sets were lorry-borne to Staffordshire from the London area.

Sir W. Smithers

asked the Minister of Supply and of Aircraft Production whether his attention has been called to the dumping of radio sets and valves into a disused pit-shaft near Cheadle, Staffordshire; what was their value; what attempt was made to sell them to traders; and what was the reason for this waste of public money.

Lieut.-Colonel Lindsay

asked the Minister of Supply and of Aircraft Production if he is aware that on 26th November, 1945, Messrs, A. G. Harris, removal contractors, collected 342 wireless sets from No. 3 R.E.D., London, and took them 170 miles by road to Newhaven Colliery, Staffs, where they were dumped down a pit; and what steps he intends to take to prevent this practice recurring.

Mr. Wilmot

The radio sets referred to were damaged equipment of military types which it is not economical to repair for military use and which were not suitable for civil use. Before destruction useful valves were removed and it would not have been justifiable to expend labour on the further dismantling of the sets for recovery of other components. As a result of the cancellation of war contracts large quantities of unused components are now in process of disposal by competitive tender to manufacturers and dealers and it is anticipated that the requirements of the public will be fully met. Dumping in abandoned mine shafts was chosen as an economical method of destroying small articles not economically reusable.