§ The Minister of Supply (Mr. Aubrey Jones)
Six hundred and forty-four thousand, one hundred and ten pairs of boots have been sold. About one-third are going to buyers in U.S.A., France, Italy, Germany and Rhodesia. The destination 26 of the rest is a matter for the exporters who bought from the Ministry. While the average sale price was less than the estimated original cost, I regret that for commercial reasons I cannot disclose the prices realised.
§ Mr. Dodds
Does the right hon. Gentleman appreciate that the surplus boots, or most of them, became surplus because of a blunder? When it has already been announced in the House that the boots cost the taxpayer nearly £2 a pair, why cannot the right hon. Gentleman tell us how much we have got for these boots, so that we may know how much money has been wasted? It must be a very large sum of money.
§ Mr. H. Morrison
If the Government purchases these boots at a certain price and sells them for another price, either privately or otherwise, surely the House is entitled to know? This is public money. Will not the Minister undertake to let my hon. Friend know when he is ready to give the information, so that the House may know what has happened to these public resources and how far this Government are to be trusted with public money at all?