Blankets (Release for Europe)

Oral Answers to Questions — Trade and Commerce – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 17th December 1945.

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Photo of Miss Eleanor Rathbone Miss Eleanor Rathbone , Combined English Universities 12:00 am, 17th December 1945

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether, out of his surplus war store of 2,000,000 blankets, he will now release the 750,000 which he is waiting for the trade to take up, so that they could be used for the needs of those in Germany and other countries, where great numbers of displaced persons and of the native population are actually freezing to death.

Photo of Sir Stafford Cripps Sir Stafford Cripps , Bristol East

Of the 2,726,000 blankets which have been made available from surplus stocks, 1,476,000 have been allocated for dispatch to the Continent of Europe for liberated countries and displaced persons. The bulk of these have already been dispatched to the Continent, and shipment is proceeding as fast as the blankets can be sorted, packed and dispatched. The remainder of the surpluses are being made available for disposal to the general public in this country.

Photo of Miss Eleanor Rathbone Miss Eleanor Rathbone , Combined English Universities

In view of the still enormous need on the Continent, could not some of the large quantity of blankets which are being held for future sale to the trade also be released?

Photo of Sir Stafford Cripps Sir Stafford Cripps , Bristol East

I do not think it would be fair in the circumstances to take all surplus blankets and give them to people abroad.