27. Mr. De la Bère
asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he will take steps to ensure a more adequate distribution of matches to smaller towns and boroughs for residents in the rural areas; and whether, in view of the large stocks held by a well-known British manufacturer in Gloucester, he will afford greater facilities for home allocation and distribution throughout Worcestershire and the Midlands.
§ Mr. H. Wilson
My Department, through the Matches Control, maintains a close watch on the distribution of matches, and in the light of reports by its travelling inspectors the Control is constantly adjusting supplies so as to ensure that each area gets its fair share, and that overall stocks are not unduly heavy. I am making inquiries into the specific complaint of scarcity in the areas referred to by the hon. Member and will write to him as soon as they are completed.
Mr. De la Bère
Is this not a matchless Government? It pays lip service to the wants of the people, but never does anything really practical to assist those in the rural areas.
§ Mr. Wilson
If the hon. Gentleman wishes me to increase the Government controls on the match industry I am prepared to consider any representations he might wish to make.