HC Deb 04 March 1918 vol 103 cc1686-7

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he is aware of the scarcity of matches in some parts of Kent and that in Swanscombe the small shopkeepers and general stores cannot get matches to supply their customers; and will he say what steps will be taken to meet this deficiency?


Whilst it is well known that there is a scarcity of matches throughout England owing to the prohibition of the import of foreign matches, it is also a fact that the county of Kent has received supplies of matches in excess of the quantity estimated to be necessary for the requirements of the normal population.

During the week which ended 23rd February, for instance, 589,000 boxes of matches were sent into Kent for a population estimated at 750,000. This would be equal to thirty-eight matches a week for each man, woman, and child in Kent, Retail dealers should, therefore, not experience any great difficulty in obtaining their supplies.

No complaints have been received by the Tobacco and Matches Control Board as to any shortage of matches in that county, and if any retailer is unable to obtain his fair share of supplies he should communicate with that Board.