§ 36. Commander Noble
asked the President of the Board of Trade whether heis aware of the present shortage of household textile goods, and whether he will be able to make arrangements in the near future for a reasonable supply of such articles for the home market.
§ Sir S. Cripps
Yes, Sir. I am well aware of the shortage. The fundamental difficulty is shortage of labour in the spinning sections, but measures are being taken to attract workers to these industries. I am supplementing new production wherever possible by utilising suitable surplus Government material for this purpose.
§ 39. Mrs. Middleton
asked the President of the Board of Trade what steps he proposes to take to prevent the delays, sometimes running into several months, between the issue of dockets for furniture and household linen and the supply of the goods in question; and whether, when goods are in short supply, he will undertake to see that families with young children, and expectant mothers, are given priority.
§ Sir S. Cripps
In reply to the first part of the Question, I would refer my hon. Friend to the reply I gave to the hon. Member for Southend-on-Sea (Mr. Channon) on 15th October. Priority is already given in certain special circumstances to families with young children and expectant mothers who need additional bedding, and this is the most that can be done to help at present.
§ Mrs. Middleton
May I bring to my right hon. and learned Friend's notice certain cases in my own constituency where such priority has not been recognised?