HC Deb 03 December 1946 vol 431 cc39-40W
82. Mr. Peter Freeman

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he is aware that the present cost of a complete outfit for a nurse is estimated to be about £30 and requires 50 coupons; and whether, in view of the great demand for nurses, he will arrange for more utility clothing to be made available at a more reasonable price.

Mr. Marquand

The only cost in coupons to a nurse is a contribution of six to her initial outfit. The utility programme has always included provision for nurses' uniform garments at reasonable prices. Production of the special cotton cloths for nurses' dresses is being increased, and the Board of Trade is co-operating with professional organisations to improve the supply and design of nurses utility uniforms.

83. Mr. Orr-Ewing

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he is aware that an outsize man who needs more than 3½ yards of material for a suit cannot obtain a suit on the coupons permitted; and what arrangements he will make to enable such people to be decently clad.

Mr. Marquand

Supplementary coupons are given on application to cover the extra material required, and a special licence is issued to enable the tailor to accept coupons in excess of the usual number. I must emphasise that these issues are made only in cases where the measurements are quite abnormal. Arrangements have also been made to credit tailors who are in coupon difficulties, including those caused by the losses which they incur in making large sizes.

88. Mr. Spence

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he will issue an order to relate the coupon value of dressing gowns to the coupon value of the cloth therein.

Mr. Marquand

The coupon value of dressing gowns is related to cloth content in certain sizes. We could only make the relationship exact in all sizes by increasing the pointing and we are not at present satisfied that this would be justified.

90. Mr. Carson

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he is aware of the hardship being caused to Merchant Navy ex-prisoners of war in that they are not eligible for the issue of supplementary coupons to members of His Majesty's Forces; that they have not received the ordinary civilian allowance of coupons for the time when they were prisoners, therefore being at a disadvantage compared with both Forces and civilians; and whether he will take immediate steps to allow them some sort of supplementary issue, taking into consideration the length of time that they were prisoners of war.

Mr. Marquand

We cannot admit that there is any hardship. The merchant seaman who was repatriated and then went back to sea received a generous allowance for re-kitting and, if he decided instead to return to civilian life, he was given coupons up to a maximum of 153, according to his need. In either case, he has been re-equipped for active life on a reasonable basis, and we do not see any justification for a further issue.