§ 26. Mr. Nabarro
asked the Secretary of State for War whether he will make a statement concerning current stocks of Women's Royal Army Corps, ex-Auxiliary Territorial Service, outer and underclothing.
§ Mr. John Hare
War reserves of women's clothing were up to 1955, held on a basis settled in 1950. Those of outer clothing have now been reduced and those of underclothing abolished. When stocks have dropped to normal levels, there will be between six and twelve months' requirements for maintenance purposes in addition to war reserves of outer clothing.
§ Mr. Nabarro
Has my right hon. Friend seen the recent report of the Comptroller and Auditor-General to the effect that this W.R.A.C. clothing represents twenty-years' peace-time stocks? Is it not a fact that the war-time establishment of the W.R.A.C. would probably be about twenty times the peace-time establishment? In those circumstances do not these stocks represent about one year's supply in the event of a major war? Will my right hon. Friend make it clear that there has been no wastage of the taxpayers' money in this regard?
§ Mr. Chetwynd
Can the Minister say whether this decision to deprive the women's services of their underclothes is part of his recruiting campaign?
§ Dame Irene Ward
I am very grateful to my right hon. Friend for his having altered the method of allocation of underclothing to the W.R.A.C. last year, but what does he now propose to do with the stocks?