HC Deb 29 October 1945 vol 415 cc10-1
27. Miss Bacon

asked the President of the Board of Trade what action he proposes to take to ensure that the available supplies of women's shoes are sold with less inconvenience to women shoppers than at present.

Sir S. Cripps

I regret any inconvenience experienced by women shoppers in search of shoes. The main cause is shortage of supplies, which I am taking all possible steps to remedy. I do not think that any further measuresof control would achieve the object which my hon. Friend has in view.

Miss Bacon

While I recognise that there is a very great shortage of shoes, may I ask the Minister if he is aware that, usually, although there are shoes in the shops, the shop-doors are shut early in the mornings?

Sir S. Cripps

I am not aware of the precise shutting hours of different shops, but I understand that all the shoes available are being easily disposed of at the present time.

Miss Herbison

Is the Minister aware that, if you want women's shoes of a high grade, you have to start queueing at 5 o'clock in the morning; and that people working long hours, or in the country, have no chance at all of getting these shoes?

Sir S. Cripps

I fully realise the great inconvenience of the acute shortage of shoes, but I am afraid that nothing, at the moment, can be done to remedy this, beyond trying to get more people back into the industry.