HC Deb 28 January 1947 vol 432 cc154-5W
93. Mr. Lipson

asked the President of the Board of Trade what will be the effect of the proposed allocation of 5,000,000 garments for troops overseas on the supply of clothing available to the civil population in this country.

94. Lieut.-Colonel Corbett

asked the President of the Board of Trade, what allocation of civilian clothing has been made to provide for British troops serving overseas and what effect this will have on supplies at home.

Mr. Belcher

I am glad to have this opportunity of correcting certain misapprehensions on this subject. As my right hon. and learned Friend informed my hon. Friend the Member for Watford (Mr. J. Freeman) on 29th July last, other ranks and rating of the three Services who had at least one year or more still to serve on 1st October, 1946, are being given a book containing 21 clothing coupons. The Service Departments have pointed out that most of the men serving overseas will be unable to obtain clothing against these coupons unless some supplies are made available from this country, and the Board of Trade have, therefore, begun discussions with manufacturers and wholesalers on the possibility of providing suitable clothing for supply to the Services abroad through N.A.A.F.I. As the discussions are still in progress, I cannot ye: state what quantities will eventually be required for the purpose, but I can say at once that they will be much below the quantities suggested in the report mentioned above. The total quantity needed is unlikely to be more than between 1 per cent. and 2 per cent. of current supplies of men's wear, and this amount should be much more than offset by the general increase in supplies over recent levels.