HC Deb 06 April 1943 vol 388 cc469-70
9. Mr. Murray

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he will consider the question of making a supply of socks, shirts and pullovers available for the Home Guard; and, if this is not possible, will he consider an issue of extra coupons for the said articles?

Mr. Dalton

Essential uniform, including battledress, greatcoat and boots, is already issued coupon-free by the War Office to Home Guards who are not compelled to purchase special shirts, socks or pullovers for military use. I regret, therefore, that in view of the increasing stringency of supplies, I cannot justify a coupon-free supply, or an issue of coupons for these articles.

Mr. Murray

While thanking my right hon. Friend for his answer, might I ask whether he is aware that in many cases lads in the Home Guard are using up their socks very quickly, and that this creates a great disturbance in the home in regard to the supply of socks?

Mr. Dalton

I should be extremely glad to do anything to ease the position, but here, as elsewhere, I am up against a shortage of supplies. The Home Guard do get from the War Office their uniforms, coupon free, which is a great assistance to the household wardrobe.

Mr. Driberg

Will the right hon. gentleman bear in mind that the boots which he mentioned as being coupon free are the very things which wear the socks out more quickly?

Major-General Sir Alfred Knox

Will the right hon. Gentleman see what can be done about getting an issue of free socks?

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