asked the President of the Board of Trade whether, in view of the difficulty experienced by persons engaged in mining and other heavy industries in obtaining suitable clothes with the coupons now available, he is disposed to reconsider the position and increase the number of coupons allotted to them?
On all these matters I am advised by the T.U.C. Full particulars of the arrangements made, after consultation with the T.U.C., for meeting the special needs of miners and workers in other heavy industries were given in reply to my hon. Friend the Member for Shipley (Mr. Creech Jones) on 7th April last.
Are negotiations still pending between the T.U.C. and the right hon. Gentleman?
I am constantly in touch with them. They have regular meetings with my officers at the Board of Trade and we are constantly watching these matters. The latest provision that has been made is that, in addition to the General Occupational Supplement, there has been set up a special pool of coupons in each undertaking for workers in the heavy industries—in the case of miners and iron and steel workers at the rate of five coupons per head. These are distributed by committees on which the workers are represented.
I am quite aware of this arrangement, but it is because it is still unsatisfactory that I raised the question.
I am afraid that this and many other matters will go on being somewhat unsatisfactory until the end of the war.