HC Deb 04 March 1947 vol 434 cc38-9W
Mr. Sharp

asked the President of the Board of Trade if he will give details of the procedure determining the present annual payment of subsidies of approximately £14,500,000 for utility clothing and 7,500,000 for leather; and at what stage or stages in production the payments are made.

Sir S. Cripps

The utility clothing subsidies consist of a subsidy on utility cotton cloth which is paid to the merchant converter and calculated to offset the main cost increases in the cloth since the end of 1943, and a subsidy on utility wool cloth which is paid to the cloth manufacturer and calculated to offset increases both in the cost of the cloth and in certain of the costs of clothing manufacturers. In the case of leather there is in most cases no payment of subsidy as such, but the Board of Trade sells hides and skins to tanners at prices which are related to the stabilised prices of the resultant leather. Since the prices so charged for hides and skins are in most cases below cost, a loss is incurred.

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