HC Deb 21 September 1948 vol 456 cc63-4W
83. Mr. De la Bère

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether, in connection with the clothes rationing system, he will consider taking handkerchiefs, collars, towels and sheets off the ration, since the continued austerity tends to lower public morale and appearances.

98. Mr. Janner

asked the President of the Board of Trade what further change in clothing coupon values he proposes to make in the near future.

Mr. Belcher

Handkerchiefs, collars and towels are at a very low coupon rate and the number of- coupons required for sheets was reduced recently. This, with the other recent rationing concessions, has considerably increased coupon spending power and in view of the importance of exports is as far as we can go at present.

87. Mr. Osborne

asked the President of the Board of Trade if he is satisfied that the supply of footwear has been adequate to meet the demand since all coupons were taken off; and if he will now take off all clothing coupons.

Mr. Belcher

The reply to the first part of the Question is, "Yes, Sir." In reply to the second part, I would refer the hon. Member to the reply I have just given to similar Questions on this subject.

88. Mr. Shurmer

asked the President of the Board of Trade if he is aware that owing to high, and in some cases, still rising prices, many people especially those in the lower income groups are unable to take advantage of coupon down-pointing of clothing and household linen; and what action he proposes to take to reduce prices.

Mr. Belcher

Our inquiries suggest that while prices have recently had some effect on the demand for clothing, the large volume of half-coupon/half-price sales has done much to reduce the effect of this and that the volume of clothing bought by the public this summer has almost certainly been no less than it was last summer. As regards the last part of the Question, I fear that some further increases in prices must be looked for since the full effects of the increases in the prices of imported raw materials which have occurred this year have not yet been reflected in clothing prices; the further increases in ceiling prices will, however, be kept to a minimum, even at the risk of some depreciation in quality.