HC Deb 29 September 1942 vol 383 cc653-4
26. Mr. Henderson Stewart

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he is aware of the difficulties experienced by people in country districts in obtaining renewals of batteries for wireless sets and also of the high prices charged in some cases; and what steps he is taking in the matter?

Mr. Dalton

Increased Service requirements have led to a temporary decrease in the number of high tension batteries for wireless sets available for the public but steps have been taken to secure a substantial increase in production and an improvement in distribution. If my hon. Friend will let me have details of the high prices charged, I will look into the matter.

Mr. Stewart

Can my right hon. Friend give any indication as to when it is expected that old age pensioners and others will be able to get this concession, which they cannot have now?

Mr. Dalton

My hon. Friend will appreciate that in time of war the Services have to come first, as a matter of necessity. But two new factories are coming into production very shortly; arrangements for increased production date back some little way, and I hope that we shall be getting full production early in the new year. But I repeat that my first duty is to the Services. The civilian population will none the less get some benefits from this increased production.

Sir Francis Fremantle

Will the right hon. Gentleman do all he can to assist the deaf to get batteries for their instruments?