HC Deb 15 December 1949 vol 470 c2892
16. Mrs. Leah Manning

asked the President of the Board of Trade if he is aware of the acute shortage of babies' diapers or material for making the same in the area of Harlow, Bishop's Stortford, Epping and Chingford; and what steps he is taking to remedy the position.

Mr. H. Wilson

I would refer my hon. Friend to the reply I gave to the hon. Member for Hastings (Mr. Cooper-Key) on 18th November. I am glad to say that deliveries of Terry squares by manufacturers were nearly 50 per cent. higher in November than they were in September. I am, of course, continuing to watch the situation closely.

Mrs. Manning

Since I have now received information that this shortage is still widespread and acute over the whole country, may I ask my right hon. Friend whether this effort is the first fruits of his research marketing endeavours in America? If so, will he stop the supply there so that the babies in this country can have comfort and dry towels?

Mr. Wilson

No, it is not the result of my visit to the United States that there is a shortage of babies "nappies" in this country. It has been due, I think, partly to shortage of deliveries by the manufacturers; also later, in September, there was a big buying of cotton goods of various kinds. As I have said, supplies from manufacturers have increased by 50 per cent. but they have not yet reached the shops.