asked the Minister of Supply why two firms, particulars of which have been communicated to him by the hon. Member for Pudsey and Otley, are able to advertise for sale nearly 1,000,000 pairs of Army and Royal Air Force boots, highly selected, some ready for sale without repairs, at 2s. to 3s. per pair;-whether these boots have been discarded by the Government Department controlling supplies; and whether he is satisfied that they are no longer repairable or of further use at a time when there is a prospective shortage of hides suitable for these types of footwear?
The boots in question were discarded by Service Departments as unfit and unrepairable for use by Service personnel. Such boots are purchased by firms who, generally after reconditioning, dispose of them in lots for civilian use as footwear or material for boot repairing, etc. The use of discarded Service boots in this way helps to relieve the shortage of hides.
While thanking my right hon. Friend for his reply, may I ask him whether, if it is true as he has stated that these goods are unrepairable, he cannot take some action to stop these people from advertising the boots as being "highly selected" and suitable for sale without any repairs being necessary?
Is the right hon. Gentleman satisfied that 1,000,000 boots were unsuitable for re-issue, and will he really inquire into the matter and satisfy himself that there was no waste?
Is the right hon. Gentleman not aware that in the advertisements two categories of boots are described, one repaired and another unrepaired and not requiring repair, and that it is to the latter category that the million pairs I referred to in my Question belong?
Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that these boots have been sold in certain areas for a few coppers a pair, so that people get them much more cheaply than the prices at which they are advertised here?