HC Deb 20 December 1945 vol 417 cc1661-2W
Mr. Stokes

asked the Secretary of State for War whether he is aware that there is a dump at Melbourne, near Derby, of some 473 cranes of various types; and whether he will take steps to make these available immediately to other service departments, thereby enabling the new products from factories to be shipped to export markets.

Mr. Lawson

These cranes represent the entire reserve stock for the British and Indian Armies, who are at present operating some thousands of cranes in various parts of the world, many of them being of lend lease origin. In view of the uncertainty regarding retention of the lend lease equipment it has been necessary to maintain a higher reserve than would otherwise have been called for. This uncertainty would be removed by the rati- fication of the British-Americar agreement now under discussion, and it is hoped that it may be possible to release a substantial number for disposal in the near future.