HC Deb 26 November 1945 vol 416 cc1026-7W
Mr. O'Brien

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he is now in a position to augment the quantity and quality of boots and shoes available for children of school age; and whether he will abolish coupons for these articles.

Sir S. Cripps

The production of girls' shoes in October was 1,199,728, as against 990,086; and of boys' 904,267, as against 785,607. Production is now running at an annual rate equivalent to 93 per cent, of the 1935 figure for girls' shoes and 118 per cent, for boys'. Even with the ration at its present rate, supplies are still below effective demand, and I am doing all I can to secure a still further increase in production of children's footwear. Special arrangements exist for reserving good quality leather for children's footwear, and on the average, the quality of children's shoes is now slightly better than it was before the war. No class of footwear can be removed from the ration until supplies are adequate to meet a free demand.