HC Deb 21 April 1943 vol 388 cc1667-8
15. Mr. Evelyn Walkden

asked the Secretary of State for Air whether the stores branch of the Royal Air Force have bought any ready-to-wear greatcoats to sell to officers under the Priority A Scheme which was introduced in May, 1941; and what is the approximate difference in price as compared with the Priority A prices in the Board of Trade Order No. 2556?

Sir A. Sinclair

Some factory-made greatcoats have been purchased by my Department for sale to officers serving in certain Commands overseas where other sources of supply are not available. Their wholesale price is approximately 55 per cent. of the maximum price for greatcoats made of priority A cloth fixed by the Board of Trade Order No. 2556. This Order is, however, concerned with retail prices for bespoke tailoring.

Mr. Walkden

While I thank the right hon. Gentleman for his reply, can he say why these young officers in this country should not have supplies of greatcoats made available to them without having to go to a middleman and pay about 40 or 50 per cent. more than the greatcoats actually cost from the wholesaler? Why cannot they get them from the quartermaster's stores?

Sir A. Sinclair

That is a question which, as I conveyed in the concluding sentence of my answer, is under consideration; but my hon. Friend will understand that it affects all three Service Departments.

16. Mr. Walkden

asked the Secretary of State for Air whether he has been informed of the conviction of a tailor for selling to a Royal Air Force officer a ready-to-wear uniform bought from a wholesaler at £5 12s. 6d., plus Purchase Tax of 19s. 5d., for £10 12s. 6d. and failing to charge separately for the cost of certain alterations making a total of £12 1s. 6d.; and whether he will consider allowing Royal Air Force stores to buy in bulk from wholesalers uniforms which can be sold direct to officers at net cost plus a small percentage for administrative charges?

Sir A. Sinclair

The answer to the first part of the Question is "Yes, Sir." The suggestion in the second part is already under consideration.