HC Deb 03 November 1943 vol 393 cc659-60
48. Mr. Quintin Hogg

asked the Minister of Production whether he will ensure that the allocation of cloth to the Service Departments is sufficient to permit a limited issue of pyjamas to other ranks?

49. Viscount Hinchingbrooke

asked the Minister of Production whether he will increase the allocation of pyjama material to the trade in order that fuller provision may be made for non-commissioned ranks in the Army and R.A.F.?

Mr. Lyttelton

In allocating material to the Services, I have to bear in mind the supplies needed by the civilian population, and I regret that I cannot see my way at the present time to increase the quantity of clothing allotted to the Services, who necessarily use an amount equivalent to a much greater number of coupons per man than can be allowed to civilians.

Mr. Hogg

Having regard to the fact that people in the Services need outdoor clothes and pyjamas just the same as ordinary civilians, why should they be restricted in this respect?

Mr. Lyttelton

My difficulty is that at a time when the level of civilian clothing is reduced to the bare minimum I could not justifiably say that pyjamas are a necessary weapon of war for the pursuit of victory, or, indeed, in the back areas for the pursuit of sleep.

Commander Locker-Lampson

If pyjamas are a symbol of social superiority, ought they not to be abolished in a democratic war?

Mr. Lyttelton

However that may be, I am sure my hon. Friend would not wish to make the device of the Ministry of Production bear the words Cedant arma pyjamae.