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Clothing (Gift Parcels For Europe)

Volume 409: debated on Tuesday 10 April 1945

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asked the President of the Board of Trade how long the question has been under consideration of permitting parcels of clothing of under 5 lbs. each to be sent to France to other than French nationals, as have long been allowed to be sent to French people through the French Red Cross; whether this is now permitted; and, if so, through what agency can the parcels be sent.

The British Red Cross first approached the Board of Trade on this matter in February. Arrangements for a gift parcel service through the British and other Red Cross organisations to France, and other liberated countries, were completed last week and will be put into effect as soon as the Red Cross organisations are ready to handle the parcels.

Will the scheme include large-scale consignments for general redistribution as well as individual parcels; and how soon will it be time for donors to send in their individual parcels, as many are anxious to avail themselves of the opportunity?

We shall have to issue a Press announcement on the scheme when it has all been settled with the Red Cross organisations concerned. There is no delay as far as my Department is concerned. We are prepared to operate the scheme as soon as the Red Cross organisations are able to accept parcels, which are expected to be many. It is intended that parcels shall be sent from individual to individual, and not in bulk consignments.