asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he is prepared, in view of the representation made to his Department and the dissatisfaction that exists amongst various voluntary organisations whose members knit woollen articles for members of His Majesty's Forces, to revert to the practice of allowing these bodies to obtain wool coupon-free from the firms they choose; and distribute the articles made as they deem appropriate?
No, Sir. I am afraid I cannot adopt my hon. Friend's suggestion. Permission for voluntary organisations wishing to knit for members of His Majesty's Forces to obtain coupon-free wool and distribute the comforts at their discretion would involve unfair distribution and waste of wool.
Does not the right hon. and gallant Gentleman see that there will be a considerable decrease in the number of these articles unless he agrees to revert to the old practice; and what is there to encourage an individual in area "A" to knit these articles if they are distributed in area "B" where no such articles are being produced at all?
I am afraid that if we dispersed the wool and did not distribute it through these organisations which arrange it carefully for us, we should have a lot of people accepting wool and perhaps using it for other purposes.
That does not meet the point I have in mind. Does the right hon. and gallant Gentleman expect persons, say in Wales, to knit articles and allow them to be distributed in areas where no knitting at all has been done? I beg to give notice that I shall raise this question on the Adjournment.
asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he will give favourable consideration to a scheme whereby for a period of 12 months persons with a gross income of £1,000 a year and upwards shall receive no clothing coupons, thereby both economising in the consumption of clothing and applying more strictly the principle of equality of sacrifice?
No, Sir. The object of the Clothing Ration Scheme is to provide fair shares of available supplies for all consumers irrespective of income, and I see no reason to depart from this principle.
Does not my right hon. and gallant Friend feel that people who have either existing wardrobes or can buy second-hand clothes should be obliged to wear out their existing stocks before they use clothing coupons?
I should like to see people who have existing wardrobes not using their coupons, but that is no reason why one should say that everybody who has an income of over £1,000 a year must necessarily have a sufficient wardrobe.