OVERSEAS STORES SECTION
PROCUREMENT AND ADVICE OF EQUIPMENT OF SIGNALS STORES.
In the early part of 1942 no uniformity existed in the matter of placing orders on Station VIIB for signal stores. On the one hand indents were raised by the then MS DIRECTORATE to cover War Station equipment and on the other, by Country Sections to cover day to day requirements as communicated by the field. This lack of uniformity caused not only considerable confusion but shipping delay, and the situation was not brought under control until the following measures had been inaugurated:
The Monthly Meeting to allocate signals stores in short supply.
Sigs to Sigs communication between London HQ and the Field.
The raising of all R.C.D.I's centralised under D/SIGS.
Missions required to submit estimates for two years in advance.
Advice of Shipment.
Similarly, as regards advice of shipment the position was even more chaotic. The responsibility for advising Missions was vested in Country Sections whose officers dealt with Q and Signal sores alike. It is abundantly clear insofar as the Far East is concerned that prior to 1942 no officer attached to the Section had knowledge of shipping conditions abroad, with the inevitable result that cases of stores going astray was the rule rather than the exception. I t will serve no useful purpose to give details of the deplorable state of affairs existing at that time for, after all, it is only by experience that the correct method of handling shipping is properly understood. Nevertheless, it may be of interest to outline the steps taken to build up a system which has proved entirely satisfactory and foolproof as regards the Far East, and which has been applied with success to Med. Group shipments during the current year. Briefly, this was accomplished by the introduction of:
A simple and effective filing system which, incidentally was adopted by other Sections within AD Directorate.
Periodic Progress and Shipping Intelligence Reports to the Field giving every particular to facilitate tracing and recognition of stores shipped by air and sea, the up-to-date position of stores on order, amplification of signals exchanged, etc. As a direct result shipping advice signals were reduced in length by as much as 75%.
Shipping records from which it is possible to trace any stores from the date of order to the time of delivery.
A Card Index covering stores in short supply and subject to allocation. This is of inestimable value in the preparation of the monthly stock statement required for the Allocations Meeting.
Direct liaison with Station VIIB and DAX on all matters appertaining to the procurement and shipment of stores.