HC Deb 05 August 1941 vol 373 cc1766-9
6. Sir Herbert Williams

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether his attention has been drawn to the application of Mr. W. H. Reynolds, formerly of 303, Brownhill Road, Catford, S.E., now resident at The White House, Chalfont Heights, Gerrards Cross, whose home at Catford was destroyed by enemy action in November, 1940, for coupons in order that he and his wife and their maid might refurnish their wardrobes: and why their repeated applications for coupons, and the completion of all the forms that have been sent them, result in a reference of the applications to the Assistance Board, to which they have not applied and do not desire to apply?

Sir A. Duncan

Since the damage referred to took place in November, 1940, it is not clear why no steps were taken to replace the lost articles of clothing before the introduction of rationing in June, but any application from Mr. Reynolds for clothing coupons will be considered by the Department of Customs and Excise as soon as the form sent to him on 14th July is completed and returned. I am unable to find any evidence of repeated applications by Mr. Reynolds to the Department of Customs and Excise nor to his having been referred back to the Assistance Board.

Sir H. Williams

As this person has been referred to the Assistance Board, does not this indicate some lack of adequate records?

Sir A. Duncan

I think not.

7. Mr. Glenvil Hall

asked the President of the Board of Trade why, as over- alls worn by textile workers in the mills are exempt from the Clothes Rationing Order, the coat, always worn with them, cannot be purchased without the surrender of coupons; and whether he will take steps to rectify this anomaly?

10. Mr. T. Smith

asked the President of the Board of Trade why coupons are required for working overalls for women, while boiler suits and overalls for men are coupon free; and whether he will abolish this discrimination?

Sir A. Duncan

The types of overall exempted in the Clothes Rationing Order are readily definable, are unsuitable for other uses, and are essential to the health and safety of those needing them. Other types of overall could not be exempted without facilitating their purchase by many persons for whom they were not essential, but the needs of the classes of workers mentioned in these two Questions are being discussed with representatives of the industries.

11. Mr. T. Smith

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether, in view of the growing demand that, to meet the coming winter, footwear for children should be coupon free, and also that only the requisite number of coupons for children's clothing shall be surrendered, irrespective of the sizes required, he will consider the desirability of making some concessions in these respects?

Sir A. Duncan

Children's footwear cannot be exempted, but, as previously stated, arrangements will be made for the issue of extra coupons to growing children who are too big to wear the sizes of clothing to which the lower scale of coupons applies.

12. Major-Genera Sir Alfred Knox

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether, under the scheme he is drawing up for the issue of wool for knitting service comforts, he will take into consideration the interests of small shopkeepers, and will allow them to continue to sell wool in all service colours, free of coupons, to private knitters?

13. Mrs. Adamson

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he can now make a statement on the details of the scheme for the supply of service wool for comforts, coupon free, to knitters?

Sir A. Duncan

As was stated in reply to a Question by my hon. Friend the Member for Bodmin (Mrs. Rathbone) on 31st July, arrangements are now being made with certain national organisations to enable persons wishing to knit for near relatives in the Forces serving away from home to obtain wool from their local retailers without surrendering coupons. A first list of approved organisations will be published very shortly.

Sir A. Knox

If wool is to be given only to these national organisations, will not the small shops dealing in wool suffer very greatly?

Sir A. Duncan

No, Sir, the arrangements are such that the wool can be bought locally by the individual.

Mr. Goldie

Is the Minister aware that the Personal Services League is refusing to supply wool to registered organisations which send comforts direct to their own relatives and is compelling registered organisations to sell direct to one of the Service organisations?

Sir A. Duncan

No, Sir, I do not know to what my hon. and learned Friend is referring; perhaps he will be good enough to give me particulars.

14. Mr. Rhys Davies

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he will, in future, before making public any scheme for rationing clothing, ascertain from the respective controls whether the cloth and materials required for that scheme are available for the makers-up?

Sir A. Duncan

When settling the amount of the ration, careful regard was paid to the supplies of raw material available.

Mr. Davies

Will the Minister try to insure that there is a sufficient amount of raw materials in such cases, so that we do not have a large number of coupons and no materials to meet them?

Sir A. Duncan


8. Mr. Henderson Stewart

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether, since oilskin frocks are only used by fishermen in the pursuit of their trade and are essential for their work, he will consider declaring such articles coupon-free?

Major Dugdale (Lord Commissioner of the Treasury)

I have been asked to reply. Fishermen needing oilskin frocks and other occupational clothing, can obtain from Mercantile Marine Offices certificates for use in lieu of coupons. There is, therefore, no occasion for the exemption of such garments from the rationing scheme, as suggested by my hon. Friend.

Mr. Garro Jones

Will the Minister take steps to make this matter known specifically to fishermen who are unaware of it?

Major Dugdale

No doubt this Question and answer will become widely known.