HL Deb 26 November 1947 vol 152 cc991-2WA

asked His Majesty's Government, if they will state:

  1. (a) The value of Government stores and property declared surplus in all theatres as from 1st April, 1946;
  2. (b) the total value of sales against these realized to date;
  3. (c) the current aggregate monthly value rate of disposal.


I regret that there is no record of the value of stores and property declared surplus in any given period. Between April 1, 1946, and September 30, 1947, goods to the value of approximately £440,000,000 were disposed of in the United Kingdom and overseas. The figure excludes most raw materials, fixed assets such as buildings and installations, and warlike stores except those sold as scrap or re-usable metal. To provide further information would involve a great deal of detailed inquiry which, in present circumstances, I do not feel would be justified. Stores are being disposed of by all Government Departments at an average monthly rate of £16,250,000.


asked His Majesty's Government whether it is correct that a number of discarded bicycles and other stores and equipment, were recently officially burned at Tain aerodrome, Ross-shire, although the local civilian population would gladly have

I. Exports from the United Kingdom to the Soviet Union. £'000
1946. 1947.
1st Quarter. 2nd Quarter. 3rd Quarter. 4th Quarter. 1st Quarter. 2nd Quarter. 3rd Quarter.
Iron and steel and manufactures thereof. 4 171 56 60 51
Non-ferrous metals and manufactures thereof. 391 563 1 1 7 1
Cutlery, hardware, implements and instruments. 198 36 137 41 52 68
Electrical goods and apparatus 138 42 508 176 223 73
Machinery 826 40 4,042 4,314 3,648 1,282
Woollen and worsted goods 321 77 71 7 1 2
Other textile manufactures 136 34 87 107 77 18
Leather and manufactures thereof. 145 127 34
Locomotives 225 32 58 17
All other articles 40 397 132 24 77 134 186
Total 567 2,622 546 5,319 4,781 4,201 1,680
purchased much of the material; and whether they will issue instructions that all surplus outworn or damaged Service stores and equipment are in future to be offered for public sale both for the purpose of avoiding unnecessary loss to the taxpayer, and to give to the people of this country some opportunity of alleviating, even with second-hand goods, the shortages they are obliged to suffer, as the result of the Government's economic policy.


The Royal Air Force ceased to man Tain aerodrome six months ago, and it has not been possible to find what the origin of this story may be. All surplus R.A.F. stores are declared to the disposals departments, who sell them, except for guns and ammunition and other items for which there is no demand. I should, however, be glad to have inquiries made into any evidence the noble Lord can give me.