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Air-Raid Wardens (Uniforms)

Volume 387: debated on Tuesday 23 March 1943

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asked the President of the Board of Trade how many clothing coupons air-raid wardens have to surrender in respect of their uniform; and why are they compelled to give up additional coupons from time to time whether they need any replacements of uniform or not?

Full time members of the wardens' service, whose uniform consists of battledress, overcoat and boots, obtain both the initial outfit and all subsequent replacements against an annual surrender of 18 coupons through their local authority. The uniform itself is worth 43 coupons. This surrender represents the annual saving which results from having coupon-free clothes to wear at work. A similar system applies to all wearers of essential civilian uniforms.

Does the Minister realise that this arrangement is leaving wardens, particularly women wardens, with very few coupons for their other needs, and it gives them no incentive to make their uniforms last as long as possible?

I do not think that that is really so. Full-time wardens who wear their uniforms while on duty have a great advantage over civilians who have not that facility, and it is in view of that that this arrangement, which I think is quite generous, was made.