HC Deb 01 March 1951 vol 484 cc2273-4
15. Mr. Janner

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether, in connection with the announcement of cheaper nylon stockings, there is any possibility of more of these stockings being available for the home market.

Mr. H. Wilson

There has already been a very large growth in supplies of nylon stockings to the home market—from an annual rate of 18 millions pairs in the first quarter of 1950 to an annual rate of 39 million pairs in the last quarter—and in present circumstances I see no prospect of increasing supplies further for some time to come.

Mr. Janner

Will my right hon. Friend take into consideration the fact that many women who are working all day have no opportunity of buying these stockings, and that in areas where these stockings are made there is considerable dissatisfaction because they cannot be purchased by the workers themselves?

Mrs. Jean Mann

Is my right hon. Friend aware that in spite of his repeated statements about there being more and more nylons available there appear to be fewer and fewer? Can my right hon. Friend tell us where they are all going, and how a woman purchaser can check whether she is really getting the benefit of any price reduction which he is making?

Mr. Wilson

I have no personal knowledge of where these 39 million pairs are going, but supplies have increased and my impression is that the distribution system has also somewhat improved. I will go into the question raised by my hon. Friend about price control.

Mr. Osborne

Can the right hon. Gentleman say whether the demands of various kinds of re-armament will take away from the production of stockings some of the nylon filament which is already going into the industry, and, therefore, tend to reduce the numbers of stockings available?

Mr. Wilson

It is certainly the case that re-armament will mean an increasing demand for filament of certain kinds of nylon. That is why I said that I could see no prospect of an increase.

Mr. Wyatt

Can my right hon. Friend say what proportion of these stockings are sold in a regularly recognised way by the shops and what proportion through irregular vendors?

Mr. Wilson

A very high proportion is sold by shops. My impression is that the numbers being sold through irregular channels are now decreasing.

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