§ Mr. Edward Davies
asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he is aware that boot and shoe distributors are asking for less grained leather footwear and more of the softer calf types; and whether he will arrange for the available hides to be classified and rolled with this end in view.
§ Sir S. Cripps
I am aware that many manufacturers and distributors are anxious for more high grade footwear but there is unfortunately a shortage of the raw material for producing plain leather of the softer calf types. In prewar years about half of the total calf leather, and a much larger proportion of the men's weight calf produced in this country came from Continental raw calf skins, supplies of which are now only obtainable to a very limited extent. We are seeking to obtain additional supplies from all sources but there is a world shortage. Leather manufacturers are only too anxious to produce plain leather of the type demanded by the footwear manufacturers and I am sure that all suitable skins and hides are used for this purpose. The problem is in no way related to the classification of the hides and skins.