HC Deb 08 July 1942 vol 381 cc765-6
40. Sir R. Glyn

asked the Minister of Production whether he is in a position to make any statement on the rubber situation; and what special steps he has in mind to economise its use by the Services and the public?

The Minister of Production (Mr. Lyttelton)

The severe restriction of supplies to the United Nations of new natural rubber demands the utmost economy in its use. In conjunction with the U.S.A. Government, through the Combined Raw Materials Board, arrangements are being made to increase supplies from sources available to us, and to ensure that the best use is made of these supplies and of the stocks now in our hands pending a sufficient expansion of the production of synthetic rubber. A great many steps towards economy have been taken. Manufacture of a large number of inessential articles has been prohibited, and the manufacture of many others placed under control. A tyre rationing scheme was introduced two months ago. Special instructions have been issued by the Service Departments to secure economy in the use of rubber, and particularly of rubber in tyres, by the Services. The Service Departments have reviewed their requirements of equipment containing rubber and these have been greatly reduced. In addition, crude rubber is being saved by a greater use of reclaimed rubber and of substitute materials in manufacturing and by alteration in specifications.

Mr. Kirby

On a point of Order. Why is it possible for this Question to appear on the Paper and be answered whereas one that I put down relating to shellac, about which the same difficulties arise, was rejected on grounds of security?

Mr. Speaker

I have not seen the Question to which the hon. Member refers.

Mr. Kirby

I submitted it a week or ten days ago to the Clerk at the Table.

Mr. Hopkinson

Have any steps been taken to break down the complete monopoly in synthetic rubber in this country?