HC Deb 11 November 1958 vol 595 cc170-1
12. Mr. Cole

asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Works, as representing the Lord President of the Council, what research has been done on the design of children's shoes to safeguard the health of the feet of growing children.

Mr. H. Nicholls

The British Boot, Shoe and Allied Trades Research Association, supported by the Department of Scientific and Industrial Research, has made foot measurements on many thousands of children, in conjunction with the health departments of certain local authorities. The data have been analysed and as a result new and improved lasts for children's shoes have been designed by the Research Association.

Mr. Cole

While thanking my hon. Friend for that Answer, may I ask him whether it is now possible to buy children's shoes which are made to these better lasts, and whether he is publishing any information about them?

Mr. Nicholls

Yes, Sir. All the manufacturers of shoes have the information, and if they make use of the lasts they are able to stamp on the inside of the shoes that they are to that specification. Parents ought to look for that if they want to be sure that they are having the benefit of this research. We have spread the information by means of pamphlets. Many thousands of pamphlets have been issued. I will send a copy to my hon. Friend. I hope that his Question today will draw the attention of parents to the opportunity which they have for looking for the mark in the shoe, which shows that they are, getting the advantage of the research on this very important problem.

Mr. Watkins

Can the hon. Gentleman say whether these lasts are expensive or not at the present time?

Mr. Nicholls

They make no difference at all to the cost of the shoe. It means that parents have the benefit of the research which is taken up by the manufacturers. The price is just the same as for shoes which have not been made on these lasts.

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