§ Mr. Boyce
asked the President of the Board of Trade (1) whether he is aware that chambers of commerce were requested to represent his Department and to transmit to it inquiries in respect of the rationing of clothing; that the replies of his Department have, in many cases, been inadequate, and that, in other cases, they have been delayed to such an extent as to render the conduct of business difficult; and what steps he proposes to take to remedy this defect in the organisation of his Department;
(2) whether he is aware that his immediate predecessor advised the public to make applications to their local chambers of commerce for information on the rationing of clothing; that the chambers of commerce have not been furnished with sufficient data to enable them to give the necessary advice; and whether he will take immediate steps to ensure that the local chambers are adequately informed in future?
§ Captain Waterhouse
On the introduction of clothing rationing traders were advised in the notice outlining the scheme to send their inquiries to the chambers of commerce who in many cases were able to answer the questions immediately. In order to help the chambers, representatives of the Board of Trade attended meetings with members of the chambers in all parts of the country during the week following the introduction of the scheme. To keep chambers informed about subsequent developments, copies of all Press notices and answers to the more general questions raised by traders have been circulated to them. Numerous inquiries have been received from chambers and I have no evidence to show that the many replies having regard to the volume of the work and the points of detail raised have been inadequate or delayed. If, however, my hon. Friend has any particular cases in mind, and will furnish me with particulars, I will certainly look into them.