HC Deb 19 November 1940 vol 365 c1860W
Sir G. Schuster

asked the Secretary of State for War whether, in view of the considerable potential supply of leather made from English hides and of the desirability of reducing imports by the use of home-produced materials, he will take steps, in conjunction with the Ministry of Supply, to arrange that articles of military equipment shall, whenever practicable, be made of leather; that, in case of articles which cannot be made wholly of leather, the present specifications shall be overhauled so that leather may be utilised as far as possible; and what orders have been placed during the last six months for articles of leather equipment for the Regular Forces and for the Home Guard, respectively?

Mr. Eden

The possibility of using leather for Army equipment has been considered carefully by the War Office in conjunction with the Ministry of Supply, and wherever possible leather articles will be provided. The Home Guard are being equipped with leather articles such as anklets, belts, rifle slings and frogs. Orders are also being placed for 800,000 sets of leather equipment for the Regular Forces. There are certain disadvantages in the use of leather equipment under active service conditions which limit the amount which can be supplied to the Regular Army.