HC Deb 18 February 1946 vol 419 cc778-9
65. Mr. Asterley Jones

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he is aware that supplies of elastic in Hitchin, Letchworth and elsewhere are scarce and of poor quality; that elastic is being sold elsewhere than in shops at considerably above the controlled price; and what steps he is taking to ensure that adequate sup- plies of good quality are made available through the normal channels at controlled prices.

Sir S. Cripps

I know that the restrictions on the quantity of elastic which the war caused have given rise to many difficulties and abuses; but I am glad to say that 100 per cent. natural rubber has been released for elastic as from 1st January last, and that the allocation of elastic to the retail trade will be increased by 25 per cent. next month.

Mr. Asterley Jones

Can the right hon. Gentleman say how soon this will come into effect so far as supplies are concerned?

Sir S. Cripps

Supplies will be increased by 25 per cent. next month.

Mr. Walkden

Does that mean that 25 or 50 per cent. less will go to some of these people who, undoubtedly, are not shopkeepers at all? Cannot this matter be handled more efficiently?

Sir S. Cripps

It is extremely difficult.

Dr. Stephen Taylor

Will this new elastic hold things up better than the old?