HC Deb 10 July 1946 vol 425 cc395-6
49. Mr. Rees-Williams

asked the Minister of Food whether, in view of the cut in the soap ration, he will issue supplementary soap coupons to those persons who, through lack of means or lack of laundry facilities, are obliged to wash at home their clothing, linen and other household requisites.

Mr. Strachey

I realise that households unable to make use of a laundry find it difficult to manage on the reduced soap ration, but I am afraid that supplies are so short that I cannot make the extra allowances suggested.

67. Mr. Daggar

asked the Minister of Food whether he is aware that Members of Parliament are receiving complaints from mining areas regarding the supply of soap; and if he will take measures to deal with the position.

Mr. Strachey

I have received complaints about deliveries of soap in South Wales being late. I am taking energetic steps to see that this does not happen again. If hon. Members will send me particulars of any complaints they have received I will gladly look into them.

Mr. Daggar

The point here is as to the possibility of giving miners a larger quantity of soap, not unequal distribution.

Mr. Strachey

I thought my hon. Friend was referring to the fact that there had been distribution difficulties there. On the other point, I am afraid I can satisfy him less, because the supply position is very difficult indeed.

Lieut.-Commander Braithwaite

Will the Minister bear in mind that these complaints of soap shortage are by no means confined to mining areas, but extend over the whole country?

Mr. R. S. Hudson

Will the right hon. Gentleman consider issuing more statistics and figures showing what the oils and fats position is to justify the cut?

Mr. Skeffington-Lodge

Will my right hon. Friend consider giving a little less soap to the soft water districts and a little more to hard water districts, keeping the total ration the same?

Mr. Hudson

The right hon. Gentleman has not answered my question about figures.

Mr. Strachey

On the figures, I must not be pressed on the point I made in the House last week—I can be pressed, but I must resist such pressure—to extend the disclosure of stock figures to other commodities. I am afraid that the fats position is only too clear a justification of the need for economy in fats. The difficulties there are certainly the greatest which face us in any commodity.