asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he is aware that there is a shortage of batteries of cycle lamps; what steps are being taken to maintain an adequate supply; and is it his intention to encourage the use of bicycles in order to economise in other forms of transport?
I would refer my hon. and gallant Friend to the reply given yesterday to the hon. Member for Rugby (Mr. W. Brown) about supplies of batteries for cycle lamps. The manufacture of bicycles and tyres requires capacity, labour and materials which are urgently needed for munitions. I cannot therefore encourage their general use when other forms of transport are available.
Is my hon. and gallant Friend aware that bicycles are very largely used by men and women who are doing very urgent and necessary war work, and that during the blackout it is impossible for them to use their bicycles unless they have lamps? Is it not therefore essential that there should be a supply of batteries made available to people who need their bicycles to carry on work which is in the national interest?
Yes, Sir, but the capacity for the manufacture of batteries is urgently needed for many direct Service requirements. In so far as those requirements can be met, all surplus capacity is used for producing such batteries as my hon. and gallant Friend has in mind.