HC Deb 23 June 1942 vol 380 cc1798-9
27. General Sir George Jeffreys

asked the Secretary of State for War whether his attention has been called to the fact that the Australian War Cabinet is about to introduce a smarter uniform for Australian troops, because the appearance of the latter compares unfavourably with that of American troops, who have a smarter uniform, and also because it is convinced that smartness has an important bearing on discipline and morale; whether the present uniform of the Australian troops is the same as British battle-dress; and whether he will consider taking similar action to provide British troops with a less unsightly uniform?

Sir J. Grigg

I have seen a newspaper report that the Australian Government are considering such a proposal, but I have no official information on the subject. I understand that the present Australian uniform is not the same as the battle dress of the United Kingdom Forces. The latter has been found satisfactory for the purposes for which it was designed.

Sir G. Jeffreys

Does not the Minister agree that smart uniform has a great deal to do with morale and discipline?

Sir J. Grigg

I am aware of that, but I am aware also that there is not an unlimited supply of wool in the world.