HC Deb 28 February 1933 vol 275 cc183-4
58. Mr. WISE

asked the First Lord of the Admiralty what progress has been made in the trials in His Majesty's fleet of cordage made from East African sisal in substitution for cordage made from foreign fibres; and whether a statement can now be made as to the adoption of sisal for the purpose?


The trials in question have been concluded and the results are sufficiently promising to warrant the partial adoption of sisal for making ropes for His Majesty's Naval Service. The Admiralty have decided, therefore, that so long as supplies of East African sisal can be obtained at satisfactory prices, a substantial proportion of the service requirements for towing hawsers, heaving and hauling lines shall be made from this fibre in lieu of manila, also that sisal shall be used exclusively for a number of small ropes which have hitherto been made from manila. If sisal cordage continues to give satisfactory service, the question of its more general adoption will be considered.


May I ask the Noble Lord if the report which has been supplied to the Vegetable Fibres Committee of the Imperial Institute can also be supplied to representatives of the sisal industry in this country?


The Admiralty report has been sent to the Advisory Committee on Vegetable Fibres of the Imperial Institute, which body has been working hand in hand with the Admiralty in investigating the possibilities of sisal. Copies of the report were circulated to members of the committee with the request that it should be regarded as strictly confidential until the question of publication has been considered at a meeting to be held to-morrow.