HC Deb 08 March 1944 vol 397 cc2052-3
57. Major Lyons

asked the President of the Board of Trade what scheme he has in operation, or is to be in operation, in connection with a coupons float for the relief of retail traders who suffer from coupon loss through price or quality reduction of stocked goods.

Captain Waterhouse

Coupons are issued to traders whose stocks of rationed goods have been lost or Damaģed by war risks and by certain civil risks. I am also prepared to consider applications for the issue of coupon floats to retailers where it is established that this is necessary in order to enable the needs of consumers to be met. I have no information that other arrangements are necessary and have none in view.

Major Lyons

Has my right hon. and gallant Friend seen the statement made by the chairman of Lewis's Ltd. that when the scheme is in operation they will get the benefit of it? Will my right hon. and gallant Friend take care that the small retailer who cannot set-off for depreciation, will get a proper share?

Captain Waterhouse

I have seen an account of the speech, but I have not read it in detail. I will read it. We will certainly take any steps to see that the small retailer is not disadvantaged.

Mr. Evelyn Walkden

Is the Minister aware that most retailers already have a big pull through their credit, and that their difficulty is that they cannot get stocks to restock?

Captain Waterhouse

That is not universally true. Some retailers are short, I know.