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Clothing Coupons (Foreign Tourists)

Volume 441: debated on Tuesday 29 July 1947

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asked the President of the Board of Trade if he will arrange for tourists and visitors to this country to be issued with a supply of clothing coupons in order to assist in the export drive and at the same time give the retail trade an opportunity of participating in this business.

Retailers are allowed to accept orders from over seas visitors for delivery overseas, without the surrender of coupons, but I do not think I should be justified in giving coupons to foreign tourists.

Is the hon. Gentleman aware that the formalities are so formidable that very few such exports take place? Will he try to simplify the formalities?

While we try to simplify the formalities, they must, by the nature of things, be rather formidable. It is necessary in some cases to require export licences. We are making every effort to do our best for the people to go to retailers to buy goods to be delivered to ships or aeroplanes.

What is the point of this? Is it not true that when a foreign tourist buys clothing in this country, it is equivalent to helping the export drive, and that this is stopping the export drive. Cannot it be looked at again?

We are not necessarily stopping the export drive if we refuse to give coupons to overseas visitors, because we do not know what is going to happen to the coupons.