Utility Furniture

Oral Answers to Questions — Trade and Commerce – in the House of Commons on 25th April 1944.

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Photo of Mr Sidney Shephard Mr Sidney Shephard , Newark

asked the President of the Board of Trade if he is aware that the 30 utility furniture coupons issued to newly married couples are not sufficient adequately to furnish one room; and will he consider restoring the number to 60.

Photo of Mr Nigel Colman Mr Nigel Colman , Lambeth Brixton

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether, in view of the experience by bombed-out people in furnishing their new homes, he will consider increasing the number of coupons allotted to them for utility furniture so that they can buy bare necessities.

Photo of Mr Hugh Dalton Mr Hugh Dalton , Bishop Auckland

I have recently, as the House knows, extended the priority classes entitled to utility furniture, and I shall increase the allowance as soon as circumstances permit. I am glad to say that the production of utility furniture is rising, but the labour and material which can at present be spared for this purpose are strictly limited.

Photo of Mr Sidney Shephard Mr Sidney Shephard , Newark

While appreciating my right hon. Friend's reply, may I ask him whether he will sympathetically bear in mind those cases where the husband is serving in the Forces and the wife is endeavouring to establish a home for him on his return?

Photo of Mr Hugh Dalton Mr Hugh Dalton , Bishop Auckland

Yes, Sir, certainly. I am most anxious to do the best I can for the various sections entitled to these coupons, but the choice is between giving a larger quantity to a smaller number of people or maintaining the present allocation, in which a larger number can participate. In the present state of supply conditions, it is better it should remain as it is.

Photo of Mr Nigel Colman Mr Nigel Colman , Lambeth Brixton

Will my right hon. Friend be good enough to bear in mind the position of those who have been bombed out and see whether it is not possible to give some increase?

Photo of Mr Hugh Dalton Mr Hugh Dalton , Bishop Auckland

There is a special allowance for people who have been bombed out. Over and above the basic allowance of 30 coupons, seven units are allowed to each additional person, irrespective of age, who has been bombed out.