HC Deb 13 May 1946 vol 422 cc144-5W
88. Mr. Shurmer

asked the President of the Board of Trade if, in view of the public expectation of easier supplies of clothing and textile goods for domestic use, he will announce as early as possible which goods can be expected to be in better supply; and what reliefs the public can expect.

Mr. Belcher:

I hope that supplies of clothing and household textiles of all kinds will continue to improve steadily from now on, but, as I informed the House on Monday last, the extra supplies of clothing and rationed goods will in general be made available to the public by increasing the size of the basic ration rather than by exceptional concessions on particular classes of goods.

89. Mr. Leslie

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he is aware that retailers have large stocks of men's winter underwear, with coupons sunk there, and are therefore unable to procure new summer goods; and, in view of this handicap, if he will consider reducing the number of coupons for winter underwear so as to enable traders to dispose of some of their surplus stock.

Mr. Belcher:

I am aware that some traders hold some relatively large stocks of men's underwear, but I do not think it can be assumed at this date that these will be surplus to requirements next winter. The answer to the second part of the Question is in the negative.

90. Mr. Gaitskell

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he is now prepared to grant coupon floats to enable disabled ex-Servicemen to set up in business in the wholesale manufacture of clothing.

Mr. Belcher:

Yes, Sir. It is already the practice of the Board of Trade to issue coupons so that war disabled ex-Servicemen can set up in business for the wholesale manufacture of clothing, provided they have some previous experience of the trade though not necessarily as principals. It is also a requirement that the Ministry of Labour consider that they are disabled persons within the meaning of the Disabled Persons (Employment) Act, 1944, and that work on their own account affords the best means of resettlement.

96. Mr. Burden

asked the President of the Board of Trade if he is aware that Major Emrys Jones, T.D., who returned to this country after serving four and a-half years in the Indian Army, applied on 20th February for coupons to purchase warm clothing and, notwithstanding the fact of repeated applications, including a registered letter enclosing a stamped-address envelope, that Major Emrys Jones has not received even an acknowledgment; and what steps he proposes to take in the matter.

Mr. Belcher:

Coupons were issued to Major Jones on 23rd April. I am satisfied that this case, which was complicated by doubts as to the applicant's civilian status, is not characteristic. I am, however, reviewing the position to see whether the present arrangements can be improved.

105. Mr. Boothby

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he will grant an extra clothing coupon allowance to women and girls engaged in gutting and kippering herring.

Mr. Belcher:

Women and girls engaged in guttering and kippering herring are, like other port fish workers, entitled to the Industrial Ten supplement. In addition, their employers may provide them with coupon free oilskin aprons and leggings or gaiters, rubber boots and in certain cases with oilskin jackets and industrial gloves. No further concession would be justified.