HC Deb 04 December 1919 vol 122 c621W

asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Munitions who were the technical advisers who advised the Ministry not to dispose of the million and a half pairs of B5 Army boots at the present favourable opportunity and to contract for a new and better boot and so earn a profit for the Ministry and keep the factories going as well as supplying the needs of the public; were their views confirmed by any outside technical advisers not attached to the permanent staff, and, if so, who were they; and when will the present contract for boots end?


I have been asked to answer this question. It is obvious that stocks of boots must be maintained for issue and for reserves. Technical advice on such a question is not considered necessary, and has not been sought. The required stock is in possession of the Department, and as the boot is the most satisfactory that has been produced for service purposes, it is not considered advisable to dispose of the stock on the strength of a hypothetical prospect of earning profits and obtaining a boot better suited for military service than that which has stood the test of war service in all climates. All contracts for boots have terminated except in a few cases where contractors have been allowed to complete them in order to avoid loss. These are now approaching completion, and the factories are therefore free to supply the needs of the public.