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Woollen Underclothing

Volume 389: debated on Tuesday 4 May 1943

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asked. the President of the Board of Trade to what extent it is his intention to limit the sale of woollen underclothes to children and old persons; and will he announce the age limits and allow persons of other ages to obtain them on a medical certificate?

As supplies of wool yarn are limited, the production of all-wool underwear is now being concentrated on sizes for young children up to four years of age, and on styles suitable for elderly persons, while other underclothing, including mixtures of wool and other fibres, is being made in sizes and styles suitable for all ages. It is not my intention to limit sales to the public in the way my hon. and gallant Friend has in mind.

With regard to the provision of woollen garments for certain classes of people, would the Minister extend that, on medical advice?

I am anxious not to take up undue man and woman-power in administration. I think it would be very difficult to have a distribution of woollen underwear to individuals in the way suggested. What I am now doing is to limit it to certain sizes and styles for the most part, and I think that on the whole that is the best way of doing it.

For the purpose of this definition an elderly person is a person who likes old-fashioned combinations or long-sleeved vests and long-legged woollen pants, but large sections of the community do not care for these styles.