HC Deb 04 April 1946 vol 421 cc239-40W
Brigadier Low

asked the Minister of Supply if he will state by types, the quantity and value of the British surplus war material held in Europe; how much British surplus war material has already been sold in Europe; and what is the policy in regard to the disposal of the remainder.

Mr. Wilmot:

I regret that the information asked for in the first part of the Question is not available. In order to hurry on the disposal of surpluses, the Service Departments have given wide authority for transfers to the Ministry of Supply to be made locally without reference back to London. Detailed information as to the amount and character of the surpluses so far declared to the Ministry could therefore only be obtained by reference to the theatres concerned. Up to date about £5,000,000 has been realised by the sale of surplus British war material in Europe.

Our policy in handling surpluses arising in Europe is:

  1. (a) To satisfy the needs of this country for stores which are still in short supply here so far as considerations of handling and transport permit.
  2. (b) To meet the needs of U. N.R R. A.
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  4. (c) To dispose of the balance in agreement with the Governments of the countries in the surpluses are lying, due regard being paid to any legitimate and material British interests. Most of these Governments have set up centralized buying agencies with whom, or with whose approval, we have to deal.