Sports Goods and Equipment.

Oral Answers to Questions — British Army. – in the House of Commons on 4th August 1942.

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Photo of Commander Sir Archibald Southby Commander Sir Archibald Southby , Epsom

asked the Secretary of State for War why it has been decided that the distribution of sports goods to the Army shall be entirely in the hands of the Navy, Army and Air Force Institutes; and for what reasons have the services of the experienced retail suppliers been discarded?

Photo of Mr Hugh Dalton Mr Hugh Dalton , Bishop Auckland

I have been asked to reply. The serious shortage of rubber and other materials has made it necessary to give priority in the supply of certain sports goods and equipment to the Services, schools, and other sports organisations. As regards supplies for the Army, the War Office have undertaken to keep within a definite allocation, and I understand that in their view centralised buying and distribution is the only practicable method of rationing the limited supplies among the various units.

Photo of Commander Sir Archibald Southby Commander Sir Archibald Southby , Epsom

Is the Minister aware that distribution among Army units would be more satisfactorily carried out through trade distributive channels instead of being in the hands of N.A.A.F.I., who are not in a position to know the requirements or the location of the units?

Photo of Mr Hugh Dalton Mr Hugh Dalton , Bishop Auckland

This matter has been discussed between the War Office and my Department, and in the view of both of us this is the best method.

Photo of Commander Sir Archibald Southby Commander Sir Archibald Southby , Epsom

Has it been discussed with representatives of the retail trade, because it is they who are suffering as, a result of the decision come to?