20 MARCH 1942, Page 4

The most distressing feature of Mr. Dalton's statement about the

cut in clothing-coupons was the appalling sentence " there has been a certain amount of talk that clothes are going to be up-pointed." Trousers, it appears, are not to be up-turned—but up-pointed ? However, I gather from the context that in the new English which we are having to learn (or decline to learn) this means requiring more coupons than at present for particular articles. As to the 25 per cent. cut generally, it seems fully justified. It will not fit the doctrine " clothing as usual," but there ought to be no such doctrine in war-time. The trouble is with people who set false standards by attempting still to be smart when there is no justification for being more than neat. Men, no doubt, may have, under the new allowance, to reconcile themselves to wearing shiny suits, and women to whatever corresponds to that, but what would in other days have been a badge of dowdiness is today a badge of minor sacrifice—officially imposed, it is true, but it may be hoped willingly borne. But every opportunity ought to be seized of driving home the truth that the reduction in the clothes-ration means a substantial saving of shipping at a moment when shortage of shipping is the only, or at any rate the main, obstacle to the launching of a second offensive such as the Russians are so naturally anxious for us to undertake. I hope that will be driven home in Russia. One other suggestion I would respectfully offer. As soon as the new utility suits are available let the best-dressed man in the War Cabinet (there is no doubt who that is) get one and wear it and let the fact be made generally known. For that matter let all the War Cabinet wear utility suits—even though in some cases the difference might be inappreciable.