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Volume 437: debated on Tuesday 6 May 1947

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asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he is aware of the acute shortage of perambulators in the township of Barrow-in-Furness; and if he will arrange to increase the supply.


asked the President of the Board of Trade the number of perambulators allocated to the trade in Beccles, Suffolk; and how this number is related to the birth rate of that town.


President of the Board of Trade how many perambulators does he estimate will be manufactured in this country during the next six months.

I regret that there is still a general shortage of prams, but despite an uneven flow of components due to the fuel crisis, and a reduction in raw material allocations, which will affect output in the latter part of the year, we estimate that some 300,000 prams will be produced during the next six months. Supplies of prams are distributed as fairly as possible throughout the country, but I will have specific inquiries made into the position in the two towns to which reference is made.

I do not know whether the birth rate in the hon. Gentleman's constituency is higher than it is anywhere else, but I think I have indicated that we are having inquiry made into the position.

Is the hon. Gentleman aware that the increased birth rate is the result of the higher standard of civilisation and of the greater measure of security due to the Labour Government?

I have my own ideas as to the reason for the increase of the birth rate, but I do not know that I care to state them in this House.

Is the hon. Gentleman aware that there is reference to two towns in the answer, but that it is really only one town, which apart from a slight slip at the last election, is one of unimpeachable integrity?

I have tried to answer three Questions together, and two of the Questions refer to a specific shortage in two towns.

Is the hon. Gentleman aware that there is also some shortage at Norwich? When dealing with the question of components, will he look into the use of aluminium as a substitute for steel, which is so short?