asked the President of the Board of Trade whether the Red Cross and other organisations have been allowed to purchase what they required during the past 12 months; have they been allowed to send the supplies to Russia that they desired; and can he give, in the OFFICIAL REPORT, a list and amount of the supplies sent?
On 17th March, when I announced the cut in our own clothing ration, I explained that the increasing stringency of our supplies made it necessary for me also to curtail the purchases, hitherto unrestricted, for aid to Russia. I am, however, glad to say that substantial quantities of clothing, as well as of medical and other necessaries, have been sent to Russia during the past 12 months. I am circulating in the OFFICIAL REFORT a list of supplies of clothing despatched by the British Red Cross and other British relief organisations during this period. This, however, is only part of the total, since further supplies, details of which are not available, have been sent through the Soviet Red Cross. I am at present in touch with the Soviet Ambassador with a view to the release of large additional quantities of clothing to Russia. The House will, I am sure, agree with me that everything possible should be done to help our Allies in this way, though all such aid must mean a corresponding subtraction from the increasingly restricted supplies available for our own civilian population.
There are not specific obligations in the sense of quantities promised at any given time. If my hon. Friend will read the particulars I am circulating, he will see that the figures are already substantial, and for the future we hope to send further considerable additions.
|Clothing, etc., supplied to Russia by the British relief organisations during the year ended 17th October, 1942.|
|Blanket coats and hoods||2,000|
|Cardigans, jumpers and pullovers||44,000|
|Jerkins, windcheaters and lumber jackets||16,000|
|Vests and pants||9,000|
|Helmets and cap comforters||29,000|
|Gloves and mittens||40,000|
|Half hose, men's||75,000|
|Knitting wool||1,000 lbs.|
|Sea-boot yarn||4,800 lbs.|
|In addition 300,000 pieces of civilian relief clothing have been ordered and will be shipped shortly.|