43. Mr. TREVELYAN THOMSON
asked the Prime Minister whether he is aware that the principal cement manufacturers in this country have recently demanded from their customers an undertaking that they will not purchase cement from abroad, and that in the event of their customers declining to give this undertaking the cement manufacturers have refused to supply any cement to such customers; whether this is an illegal restriction of trade; and whether, in view of the serious shortage of cement for housing purposes, the Government will temporarily suspend the export of all cement?
§ The PARLIAMENTARY SECRETARY to the BOARD of TRADE (Sir P. Lloyd-Greame)
I have been asked to reply. I am not aware of any demand by cement makers for an undertaking such as that to which reference is made. I should, however, be glad to receive any definite information which my hon. Friend may have on the subject. With regard to the last part of the question, I can only say that the relation between output and export is being carefully watched, and it cannot be assumed that the proposal put forward would afford the relief suggested.
Is the hon. and gallant Gentleman aware that the Government have given a similar answer to that for some time past, and will their deliberations come to a conclusion whereby the supply of cement, which is exceedingly short for house building in the country, will be augmented?
§ Sir P. LLOYD-GREAME
Continued consideration of the matter will not lead us to take the action suggested by the hon. Member if we consider it to be wrong.