HC Deb 31 January 1918 vol 101 cc1771-2W

asked the Under-Secretary of State for War whether he is aware that the present, high price of wool renders it impossible for many voluntary helpers to continue the knitting of socks and other articles for the use of soldiers whether his attention has been called to the economy which might be effected by returning the uppers of Army socks to this country to he refooted and returned for use to the. Army; and whether he will take steps to put a stop to the present practice under which the whole of the wool in old socks is thrown away or used for gun wiping, etc.?


The suggestion to refoot worn-out socks was tried last year a large number being sent for the purpose to a repairing organisation. The result, however, was unsatisfactory as only a small proportion was found capable of being repaired. I am not aware that any old socks are thrown away or used for cleaning purposes. The worn-out socks are withdrawn from the soldier at the time they are replaced. In some cases it is possible to unravel the tops of the old socks and use the wool for repair purposes, and where possible this is done. The Salvage Department, which is concerned with the prevention of waste, is now actively engaged in collecting, sorting, and utilising wool rags (which includes worn-out socks) for purposes of remanufacture.