HC Deb 21 November 1945 vol 416 cc440-1
77. Mr. Wilkins

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he is yet permitting the importation of French briar pipes in quantity; and if he will give the figures of these imports for three months to the last convenient date.

Mr. Ellis Smith

Yes, Sir. The number of pipes of briar and other woods for which licences have been granted during the months of September, October and November up to date for importation from France is 6,743 gross, valued at £111,338. Of these, only 150 gross were of briar. It has not been possible in the time available to obtain figures of actual arrivals.

Mr. Evelyn Walkden

Is the Minister taking steps to control the prices of briar pipes, which seem to have reached astronomical figures in recent months? The old 6d. Woolworth's is now 10s. 6d.

Mr. Smith

That is quite true, and attention is being paid to the matter.

78. Mr. Wilkins

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether supplies of briar and vulcanite can now be released in sufficient quantities to permit of a substantial number of pipes being available for the Christmas market or early in the new year.

Mr. Ellis Smith

It is still difficult to get sufficient quantities of briarwood, which has to be imported. There is no special difficulty with regard to vulcanite pipe stems. A considerable number of pipes will shortly be available, but not necessarily by Christmas.