§ Sir B. Neven-Spence
asked the Secretary of State for War if, in view of the need for increased food production, he will issue instructions for the immediate removal of derelict barbed wire defences from all productive land in Orkney, with priority for fields which require to be ploughed at an early date.
§ Mr. Lawson
The War Department normally takes responsibility for physical removal only of temporary defence works which are dangerous to the re-mover. Otherwise the responsibility rests with the appropriate civil department, although military labour is used to the fullest extent possible on the removal of defences or barbed wire no longer required. The civil department responsible for the work in this particular area has sent to the local War Department authorities a list of fields, in order of priority, for the removal of wire, and farmers may, if they can, remove this wire as agents of the War Department. The local military authorities are fully aware of the necessity for making as much land as possible available for food production and are carrying out the work as rapidly as is possible with the limited amount of labour at their disposal.