HC Deb 27 July 1950 vol 478 cc663-5
13. Mr. Dodds

asked the President of Board of Trade if he can yet make an announcement in respect to the distribution of nylon stockings following his consideration of this problem.

Mr. H. Wilson

Not yet, Sir.

Mr. Dodds

Can my right hon. Friend say when he is likely to make this very important announcement?

Mr. Wilson

I am still awaiting further information on the very difficult and complicated system of distribution which seems to apply in the case of nylon stockings.

Mr. Osborne

Would it not be fairer to the women of this country to make it quite plain that there is not sufficient nylon yarn to produce stockings so that all can have what they want, instead of trying to fool them that they can all have them quickly?

Mr. Wilson

There is no question on this side of the House of fooling them, but it is clear to a very large number of the women of this country that if the available supplies of nylon stockings, running at 24 million pairs a year, were more fairly distributed, far more people would have a chance of being supplied.

Mrs. Mann

Will my right hon. Friend make sure that the stockings which are distributed are clearly marked whether they are sub-standard or first-class? Is he aware that I have letters from the manufacturers telling me that stockings which I have submitted to them are definitely sub-standard, one letter saying: We are very concerned to learn that these were purchased at 12s. 11d. per pair, as the correct price is 8s. 9d."?

Mr. Wilson

Yes, Sir. My investigations into this question will certainly include the marking of these stockings and if cases are reported to me of stockings being sold at above the controlled price we will consider taking proceedings.

16. Mr. Arthur Lewis

asked the President of the Board of Trade what quantity of nylon stockings left home factories for export in the first six months of this year; what proportion of this quantity were actually exported; and what has happened to the remainder.

Mr. H. Wilson

Complete returns of June deliveries of nylon stockings are not yet available. The manufacturers' returns for the seven months from November, 1949, to May, 1950, show that out of total sales of 27 million pairs of fully fashioned and circular knitted nylon stockings, 16 million pairs were supplied for export.