HC Deb 18 January 1944 vol 396 cc8-9
15. Mr. Liddall

asked the President of the Board of Trade when the 70,000 wireless sets of British make approaching completion in this country and the 14,000 sets of American manufacture bought in the United States for civilian use here will be released; and whether he is satisfied with the quality of the American sets our manufacturers are being asked to recondition.

Mr. Dalton

The British sets are put on the market as soon as they are completed. As my hon. Friend knows, there are very heavy demands at present for wireless equipment of all kinds for the Fighting Services, and these demands must have first claim on our supplies. Eighteen thousand American sets have now arrived in this country. These sets are similar to those which were imported from the United States before the war and were found to be of good quality.

Mr. Mathers

Does the right hon. Gentleman control the prices of these sets?

Mr. Dalton

Yes, Sir, in the sense that it is open to me to issue an order controlling them.

Mr. Thorne

Why is there a shortage of valves for many of these sets?

Mr. Dalton

The short answer is that there is a shortage for civilian sets because the demands of the Services, as will be readily understood, are great and are increasing, and operational requirements must take precedence.

Sir Percy Harris

Will my right hon. Friend control prices, because when they are sold to civilians they are sold at exorbitant figures?

Mr. Dalton

That is not part of the Question on the Paper; but I am going into it.