§ Sir J. Mellor
asked the President of the Board of Trade if he will explain the present priority system for the sale of vacuum flasks; and how long this will be retained.
§ Mr. H. Wilson
The present priority scheme for the sale of vacuum flasks is run voluntarily by Thermos (1925) Ltd. and covers only the 1 pint "Thermos" brand flask. It does not cover any other make of vacuum flask nor the other products of the Thermos Company. Permits under the priority scheme may be issued to the following classes of people: (a) Those who cannot obtain a hot drink at or near their place of employment; (b) Those who obtain a certificate from a doctor stating that a flask is necessary (i) for reasons of health; (ii) for the feeding of infants where health considerations apply; (iii) for invalids or the feeding of infants during long and difficult train journeys where there are no facilities for obtaining a hot drink; (c) Elderly persons 116W who have no one to look after them; (d) Those looking after infants where there are no facilities for readily obtaining a hot drink, e.g., gas or electricity.
Permits under category (a) which represent the majority, are issued by the Government Department responsible for the industry or service in which the applicant is employed. In general, applications should be made through the employer. Applications from workers not covered by any other Government Department as well as those from persons in the other categories are dealt with by the Board of Trade regional offices.
I am not satisfied that there are sufficient flasks available over the country as a whole for the scheme to be dropped yet, but the need for retaining it is under review and I hope that increasing production will enable me to dispense with it within a few months.