§ 25. Major C. S. Taylor
asked the President of the Board of Trade what quantities of textiles, furnishing fabrics and carpets have been exported from Britain to foreign countries and the Dominions, respectively, during the past six months; and how much it is proposed to export during the next six months.
§ 27. Mr. R. C. Morrison
asked the President of the Board of Trade if he is aware of the difficulties now being faced by housewives owing to the depletion and deterioration of their stocks of household linen; and whether he will give an assurance that this deficiency will be at least partially made good before household linen is allowed to be exported.
§ Mr. Dalton
I am well aware of the present severe shortage of these goods. Exports of cotton, wool and rayon textiles are barely sufficient to meet the essential needs of Empire and Allied countries which are dependent upon us for supplies. No new production of furnishing fabrics or carpets for export has 1879 been authorised since 1942. Exports have thus been limited to old stocks, which are now virtually exhausted. Further particulars will be given in the Export Accounts for 1944 to be published later this month. There is unlikely to be any increase in the rate of these exports during the next six months.
§ Major Taylor
Can my right hon. Friend say whether, in the Allied and Empire countries to which these goods are exported, there is any rationing of such goods?
§ Mr. Dalton
In some there is and in some there is not, but some of these goods are not rationed in the strict sense of the word here. I would like to make clear that we are only exporting now in order to meet the urgent needs of people who are very dependent upon us—in the Empire in particular. They are of the opinion that they are getting very little indeed now, and I am receiving many representations that they should have more.