HC Deb 22 July 1941 vol 373 cc762-4
2. Mr. Parker

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he is aware that many children are large for their age; that in such cases parents have to give coupons for clothing at the adult rate; and whether he will make arrangements for all children under 14 years of age to obtain clothing at a child's coupon rate?

The President of the Board of Trade (Sir Andrew Duncan)

Arrangements will be made in due course 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. These arrangements will extend also to children who are older than 14.

5. Sir Percy Hurd

asked the President of the Board of Trade, how many officials are employed upon the clothes rationing scheme, and at what cost in salaries and expenses; and how many of them, men, and women, would otherwise be eligible for war service?

Sir A. Duncan

The staff employed wholly on the clothes rationing scheme consists of 105 men and 135 women. The salary cost is approximately £ 46,000 per annum. The information asked for in the latter part of the Question will be obtained as soon as possible and will be sent to my hon. Friend.

7. Mr. T. Smith

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether any decision has yet been reached with regard to working clothes of miners and other industrial workers being coupon-free?

Sir A. Duncan

Arrangements have been made to permit men returning to the pits after a period of absence to obtain the necessary working clothes without the surrender of coupons, against a certificate from a mines manager, countersigned by an inspector of mines. Discussions on the general needs of the mining and other industries are proceeding. In the meantime, certain exemptions of general application have been made and factory inspectors may authorise employers to obtain without coupons garments necessary for the health and safety of their workers.

Mr. R. J. Taylor

Is the Minister aware that pit stockings, in particular, are in great demand at the moment and there is difficulty in getting them?

Sir A. Duncan

I will look into it.

8. Miss Ward

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he will issue a reasonable number of clothes coupons to women serving in the Armed Forces of the Crown in order to enable them to take advantage of permission to wear, on appropriate occasions, civilian clothes?

Sir A. Duncan

As explained in a Reply given on 17th June, officers and other ranks on leave will normally be able to use the civilian clothing which they already possess. I regret that the supply position would not permit the issue of coupons for the purchase of new civilian clothing. This must apply to women serving in the Armed Forces as well as to men.

Miss Ward

Is the Minister aware of the psychological effect of supplying even a small amount of new clothing for women in the Services? Is he not willing to reconsider the position?

Sir A. Duncan

The position has been reconsidered in the light of the supplies available, but at present I am afraid no other reply is possible.

9. Miss Ward

asked the President of the Board of Trade how many coupons are issuable for replacement of total loss of personal clothing and household furnishings?

Sir A. Duncan

In the case of total loss of personal clothing 174 coupons are issued to a man, 161 to a woman, 104 to a boy and 96 to a girl. No allowance is made for household goods, the majority of which are unrationed.

Miss Ward

In view of the fact that 95 coupons were recently issued for replacements, may I ask my right hon. Friend what is his Department's definition of girls as compared with women?