HC Deb 20 May 1941 vol 371 c1386
39. Sir R. Clarry

asked the Minister of Supply whether he has any statement to make on a recent Report from the Select Committee on National Expenditure, which deals with a suggested process for the treatment of Army leather boots reputed to give them an extended life and effect an economy in expenditure?

Mr. Macmillan

The Select Committee recommended a more extended wearing test than that which had been carried out, and also agreed that it was desirable to test the boots under all conditions, both summer and winter. Arrangements have been made with the War Office to conduct wearing tests this summer. In addition to the evidence supplied by wearing tests on Army boots, it is necessary also to consider any factors which may in any degree affect efficiency. All these factors will be borne in mind in connection with the tests which are now being undertaken, and a report will be submitted to the Select Committee as soon as possible.

Sir R. Clarry

Would my hon. Friend agree that if the claims for this process are sustained, very great economies will be affected financially and a quantity of leather will be available for other purposes? Speed is essential in dealing with this matter.

Mr. Macmillan

Claims are often made by inventors, and it is necessary to establish them.

Mr. A. Edwards

When the Minister says, "under all conditions," does it mean that he wants to test them under both war and peace conditions, and, if so, is that the reason for the delay?