HC Deb 20 December 1945 vol 417 cc1664-5W
Mr. Bossom

asked the Secretary of State far War if he will have the military obstructions, such as pill-boxes, road-blocks, during the war period, removed by members of His Majesty's Forces to avoid the need of using building workers to do this.

Mr. Lawson

The military tasks of the Army in this country do not permit of the War Department undertaking general responsibility for this work. As already announced it has been decided that the Ministry of Works should accept responsibility for the removal of temporary defence works on private land where this is desirable in the public interest, and of receiving and examining the claim of the owner or occupier if he does the work. The Service Departments, on their part, will make fully available to the Ministry of Works their records about temporary defence works and make Service personnel available for the work where this is practicable. As regards works on public land, the responsibility rests with the civil Departments concerned. Wherever possible, however, and where it does notinterfere with essential military training, troops are used to the fullest extent on the removal of defences or barbed wire no longer required. Exceptionally in certain coast towns special arrangements have been made under which the local authorities are carrying out removal on repayment by the War Department in accord- ance with schemes approved by that Department. The removal of all dangerous defence works is undertaken by the Army and is well in hand.