HC Deb 02 December 1959 vol 614 cc1164-5
18. Mr. Dodds

asked the Secretary of State for War how many of the 1,250,000 pairs of surplus Army boots have been sold; how much they realised; and what is the timetable for the completion of the operation.

Mr. H. Fraser

About 890,000 pairs have been disposed of and the sales should be completed by February. Until then, in order to safeguard these remaining sales, prices cannot be disclosed.

Mr. Dodds

Is it not laughable that this House cannot be given information which is known to every dealer who is buying these boots? Is it not the fact that boots which cost £2 a pair have been and are being sold at between 8s. 6d. and 10s. a pair? If that is not correct, will the hon. Gentleman deny it now?

Mr. Fraser

It is my duty to protect the public purse in so far as I can. These boots are being sold overseas and I am not prepared, nor am I willing, to confirm prices reached until the sales have been completed.