§ Mr. BARNES
asked the Under-Secretary of State for War, whether a proposal put forward by the National Federation of Merchant Tailors with regard to the supply of uniforms to members of the Territorial Force has been brought to his notice; whether he is aware that the proposal is that, in order to provide work for tailors at present unemployed, and also to accelerate the supply of uniforms, any member of the Territorial Force willing to pay part of the cost of uniform be allowed, during the present circumstances, to procure the same from his usual tailor, the Government contributing the ordinary contract price and the soldier the difference, and that, where men have already 797W purchased their uniforms, such uniforms may be taken over by the authorities and paid for at contract price, after being passed by the officer inspecting, as has been done in the case of the 28th London (Artists' Corps); whether he is aware that local branch committees of the federation are being organised to take contracts for the supply of uniforms for entire battalions or units, thus reducing the cost; and whether, in view of the present distress in the private tailoring trade and of the fact that the Tailors' and Tailoresses' Trade Union has agreed to a reduction in the price of making service clothing, he will favourably consider the proposal?
I cannot find that this proposal has ever been made to, or considered by, the War Office. The clothing of recruits for the Territorial Force is the duty of the Territorial Force Association. While fully sympathising with my hon. Friend's purpose I would point out that the proposal to make the Territorial soldier pay part of the cost of his uniform would be open to serious criticism.