HC Deb 13 May 1948 vol 450 cc2282-3
69. Air-Commodore Harvey

asked the President of the Board of Trade if, in view of the large stock of oiled fabrics, such as cotton, nylon and silk, already processed, and bearing in mind the perishable nature of these materials, he will authorise these fabrics to be sold without coupons.

Mr. H. Wilson

I am aware that some traders have complained that they cannot sell their stocks of these fabrics. The coupon changes I announced on 6th May, especially the down-pointing of garments made from this cloth, should improve the position, and I will arrange for further discussion with the manufacturers concerned.

Air-Commodore Harvey

Is my right hon. Friend aware that one firm in Macclesfield has 50,000 yards of nylon already processed, that another firm in Scotland has about 100,000 yards and that probably there are half a million yards in the country altogether? Does he realise that these goods are rapidly deteriorating, and that there is a risk of fire, and will he deal with the matter right away?

Mr. Wilson

I have already halved the coupon rate on waterproof clothing, and, of course, there will be more coupons available as a result of the general down-pointing, particulars of which I announced last week.

Air-Commodore Harvey

Does the right hon. Gentleman realise that because of the lack of rain last year, raincoats did not sell in great numbers? Does he realise that this material could be used for curtains, and will he allow it to be so used rather than that it should rot in warehouses?

Mr. Wilson

The hon. and gallant Gentleman will agree with me that this is one of the things for which he cannot blame the Government.

Mr. Braman

Is not the answer to this question the same as that in other cases where there is a demand for the down-pointing of clothing—that the manufacturers should reduce their prices?

Mr. Wilson

I am already making it clear to the trade that in all cases where there are excessive stocks I am prepared to agree to their disposal at half coupon rates and half price, but I am not prepared to agree to them disposing of the material at no coupon rate and full price.

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