asked the Secretary of State for War whether the Army commanders or the command welfare officers or the command staff officers for physical training were consulted prior to the decision that the Navy, Army, and Air Force Institutes should undertake the supply of sports goods to the Army; whether he is aware that the Federation of Sports Goods Retailers are both able and willing to undertake this task; and whether the decision will be amended?
§ Mr. Sandys
In view of the serious shortage of raw materials my right hon. Friend the President of the Board of Trade decided to give the Armed Forces and some other bodies priority in the supply of certain sports goods. In order to give effect to this decision it was necessary 185W to institute a system of central buying. The need for secrecy made it impossible to discuss the matter widely, but before the details of the scheme were settled certain Army commanders, command welfare officers and command sports boards were consulted. I am satisfied that the alternative arrangements proposed by the Federation of Sports Goods Distributors would not fulfil the essential requirements of the rationing scheme.