HC Deb 27 March 1945 vol 409 cc1291-2
12. Rear-Admiral Beamish

asked the President of the Board of Trade the present position in regard to the importation and distribution of briar pipes, which are still unobtainable in Sussex; and to what extent clay or other pipes are being manufactured and distributed in this country.

Mr. Dalton

Only small quantities of briar pipes are now being imported, but negotiations are at present taKinģ place in Paris with the French authorities on this subject. The production of clay pipes in this country is now at the rate of about 2,000,000 a year and of hardwood pipes, about 1,000,000.

Rear-Admiral Beamish

Is it not possible for the Minister to do a little bit to encourage the smoKinģ of pipes of peace and other pipes?

Mr. Dalton

I am anxious to do all that I can. At the moment, we are getting some briar pipes from Malta, which are helping to fill the gap. There are difficulties with regard to supplies from France, due to transport, but we are pressing the matter forward. At this moment our commercial Minister in Paris is discussing it with the French authorities on the basis of a considerably increased consignment from France.

Mr. Oldfield

Is it not a fact that briar wood is being exported from this country to America?

Mr. Dalton

That is another question.

Mr. Gallher

Is it not a fact that a well-known public man last week exhibited a room full of pipes, and could the right hon. Gentleman not acquire some of those?

Colonel Sir George Courthope

May I suggest the use of cherry wood?

Mr. Dalton

We are scooping up any wood we can for this purpose, but it is not very easy to do so at the moment, because of shortage of labour and so on. I will follow up the suggestion made by the right hon. and gallant Member.