As my hon. Friend says, utility furniture has proved very popular, and demand has considerably exceeded expectations. I am doing everything possible to increase the supply, but both labour and materials are very strictly limited. In order to assist manufacturers to work off orders already placed, I have, therefore, decided that no new applications for buying permits shall be entertained by the Assistance Board from to-day until 1st September. Applications already made will, however, be dealt with as hitherto. It is possible that some modifications may need to be made in the scheme, when the issue of buying permits is resumed on 1st September. If so, I shall announce them towards the end of August.
Yes, Sir, preference is given in so far as bombed-out people are one of the priority classes. Bombed-out persons and newly married persons who are setting up their homes for the first time, are high on the priority list. It therefore follows that an area which has suffered seriously from enemy action would have priority.