HC Deb 22 November 1939 vol 353 c1221
58. Sir Patrick Hannon

asked the Minister of Supply whether he will assure the House that applications for raw materials from firms engaged in various branches of export trade are being dealt with expeditiously and sympathetically; and whether he will state the number of such applications which have been under consideration by the appropriate committee at the latest convenient date?

Mr. Burgin

I can assure my hon. Friend that every effort is made, consistently with the fulfilment of Government defence orders, to provide exporters with raw materials and to deal expeditiously with their applications. Moreover, in order to assist export trade, my right hon. Friend the President of the Board of Trade is consulting with various exporting industries with a view to the formulation of export programmes. Formulation of these programmes will, of course, help priority committees, working under the Ministerial Priority Committee and the various controllers of raw materials, in making the most appropriate allocation of supplies, both for defence needs and for the export trade. In reply to the second part of the question, I fear that it would not be practicable to produce a statistical appreciation of the number of applications for raw materials for export which have been dealt with so far, because the circumstances of the applications and the amount of materials in question are so varied and the numbers so considerable.

Sir P. Hannon

Is there some subcommittee under the priority committee which is giving special attention to the needs of the export trade?

Mr. Burgin

Yes, Sir. The needs of the export trade are borne in mind by each priority committee.