HC Deb 28 November 1944 vol 404 cc2375-6
16. Mr. Driberg

asked the President of the Board of Trade if he will allocate a generous percentage of the new supplies of children's Wellington boots to rural areas, in which children often have to walk through muddy lanes to schools not equipped with drying apparatus.

Mr. Dalton

Yes, Sir; I have arranged that the small quantity of children's Wellingtons which can now be produced shall be supplied to traders only on condition that they go to shops in rural areas.

Mr. Moelwyn Hughes

On what conditions may the boots be bought by the inhabitants of rural areas? Will certificates from the school be required?

Mr. Dalton

No, they can be bought for money and coupons.

Mr. Turton

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that over a great deal of Yorkshire, there are no Wellington boots at all?

Mr. Magnay

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that I have tried at every shop in Newcastle and there was not a size 1 for infants in these boots in the whole town? We need them as much as the rural areas.

Mr. Dalton

In reply to the hon. Member, with whom I am generally in agreement, in this case I am on the side of the country. The mud is worse in the country than in the towns. As I have explained, supplies are very short because natural rubber must be used—synthetic rubber is no good by itself. Natural rubber stocks are declining very rapidly, but we are making what progress we can.