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.
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?