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D Scheme

Volume 498: debated on Tuesday 8 April 1952

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asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if, in view of the impossibility of obtaining outsize garments for those of especial dimensions free of Purchase Tax in many of the articles in the proposed D scheme prices, he will consider raising the D level to make this possible.

I am afraid I cannot accept the implication in this Question. Whatever the dimensions of the garments, the tax depends only on the price chosen to be paid for them.

How can the right hon. Gentleman justify the scandalous treatment of outsize men and women, who in many categories are denied the purchasing of even the lower standard articles—for example, nightgowns and men's pants?

We have a certain interval before the Committee stage of the Finance Bill and, no doubt, I can have a little trying on of these matters with the hon. Lady the Member for Liverpool, Exchange (Mrs. Braddock) and the hon. Member.

Is the Chancellor aware that under the Utility scheme, special provision was made for outsize garments, but that no mention of it was made in the Douglas Committee Report? In view of the fact that this seems to have been an oversight, will the right hon. Gentleman reconsider the matter with the trade in order to get attention drawn to the very difficult position of outsize people?

This is a serious point, and I am ready to discuss it with the hon. Member if she so desires. The hon. Lady will, however, remember that before the D scheme was introduced, if an outsize person was unable to choose a garment within the Utility scheme because of size, there was a great jump in price before a suitable garment could be provided, whereas under the D scheme there is a suitable and sensible gradation between the two types of garment.

While I appreciate his statement, is the Minister aware that in respect of ladies' dresses and blouses, an additional percentage was allowed in relation to outsize of 7½, 15 and 22½ per cent.? If the matter could be considered on this basis, I am certain that some amicable arrangement could be arrived at.


asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he is aware of the effect of his proposals under the D scheme on the glove manufacturing industry with particular reference to the production of fur backed gloves, non-industrial leather gloves and knitted gloves; and if he will take action to remove the present threat to production and employment in the industry.

I am studying the effects of the D scheme on the glove industry and will bear in mind the considerations which my hon. Friend has mentioned.

Can my right hon. Friend say how the D scheme level was arrived at and why no distinction was made between lined and unlined leather gloves, as was made, for instance, in the case of coats and jackets, and why there was no distinction whatever between leather gloves and fur-backed gloves?

I realise that there is some difficulty about gloves, particularly those backed with rabbit skin. The D scheme was arrived at as the general median price of the article concerned.

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that manufacturers in the glove industry complain that they were not consulted about the extension of the tax in respect of gloves, and that whereas before the Budget most gloves were free from tax, most gloves are now subject to tax? Is the Chancellor aware that there is widespread anxiety in the glove-making districts of Cheshire?

It would be a good thing if the anxiety were not too widespread, because not only shall we have to consider these matters, but I am also in some doubt whether the outlook need be quite so gloomy as the hon. Member says.

In the event of an Amendment being put down to cover this point, would the right hon. Gentleman give it further consideration?

Has the right hon. Gentleman's attention been called to a Motion on the Order Paper, signed by certain Parliamentary private secretaries and other hon. Members opposite, about the D scheme? If so, what is he going to do about that?

[That this House calls upon Her Majesty's Government immediately to reconsider their proposals with regard to Purchase Tax in order to alleviate the rising unemployment in the textile industry.]