HC Deb 22 February 1944 vol 397 c624
1 and 2. Lieut.-Colonel Sir Walter Smiles

asked the President of the Board of Trade, (1) if he will allow retailers to sell austerity garments without coupons and allow the coupons thus lost to be replaced by his department;

(2) if he is aware that many wholesalers and retailers are now left with large stocks of austerity garments which the public do not like and will not buy; and what steps he proposes to take about this.

The President of the Board of Trade (Mr. Dalton)

I would refer my hon. and gallant Friend to the replies which I gave to Questions on this subject on Tuesday last.

Sir W. Smiles

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that stocks of utility garments are selling very well, and that non-utility kinds are likely to require a grand clearance sale at greatly reduced prices?

Mr. Dalton

I do not know whether my hon. and gallant Friend was present last Tuesday, when various questions dealing with this matter were put and answered. I then indicated various means by which I was hoping to assist in cases where there was difficulty in disposing of these garments, although I consider in the light of information I have received, that the difficulties have been much exaggerated in some quarters.

Lieut.-Colonel Dower

Will the right hon. Gentleman consider taking back less numbers than Too, otherwise small stocks will be left in the hands of small traders?

Mr. Dalton

I do not understand that question.