Clothing Supplies

Oral Answers to Questions — Trade and Commerce – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 13 March 1945.

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Mr. Sheppard:

asked the President of the Board of Trade if his attention has been drawn to the impending clothing shortage; and what steps he proposes to take to remedy the position.

Photo of Mr Hugh Dalton Mr Hugh Dalton , Bishop Auckland

The main problem in this field is the output of cotton yarn, and, as I informed my hon. Friend the Member for East Willesden (Mr. Hammersley) on Tuesday last, steps are being taken, subject to the urgent needs of war production, to increase the labour force in the spinning section of the cotton industry.

Photo of Mr Sidney Shephard Mr Sidney Shephard , Newark

Is the right hon. Gentleman satisfied that there is no danger of a collapse in the clothing coupon system?

Photo of Mr Hugh Dalton Mr Hugh Dalton , Bishop Auckland

Yes, Sir. A collapse is certainly not contemplated.

Photo of Mr Samuel Hammersley Mr Samuel Hammersley , Willesden East

Could my right hon. Friend say whether the main cause of the shortage of cotton yarn is an inadequate supply of labour?

Photo of Mr Hugh Dalton Mr Hugh Dalton , Bishop Auckland

My hon. Friend has asked this question several times, and I have had to tell him that one of the difficulties is that cotton employment is very unattractive, because conditions in the engineering industry, into which many cotton operatives have moved, are much more agreeable both in wages and amenities. In spite of this fact, the Ministers who are primarily concerned in this matter are trying to get cotton labour back into the spinning section.