HC Deb 06 February 1947 vol 432 cc387-8W
83. Sir R. Young

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he is aware that orders for surgical boots, with doctor's certificate and the necessary coupons, since 1942, while acknowledged, have not yet been supplied, resulting in loss of employment, time and travelling expenses; that this delay is attributed to scarcity of supply of leather for their manufacture; and if he will take steps to remedy this defect in supply and thus assure a larger production of this special requirement.

Mr. Belcher

I am very much aware of the serious difficulties which those who need surgical boots have to face at the present time. The chief cause of the delay is lack of skilled craftsmen to make the boots. Training schemes for bespoke and surgical bootmakers are being operated by the Ministry of Labour, but I fear it may be a considerable time before their effect is felt. I know, too, that the very high qualities of leather required for these boots are scarce; but I am always willing to give assistance to any surgical bootmaker whose work is held up for lack of materials.