HC Deb 19 December 1946 vol 431 c2151
22. Mr. Keeling

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he is aware of the difficulty which artists and schools of art have in obtaining canvas, brushes and paints; and whether, in their interests and in the interests of British art, he will reduce the proportion of these things which is exporter.

Sir S. Cripps

Demand is exceptionally high, and I am aware that there is some shortage, though production is above the level achieved before the war. The industry is making every effort to increase production further, and we are giving them what help we can. The exports of these goods are a valuable source of exchange and we are not prepared to reduce them.

Mr. Keeling

Is the President of the Board of Trade aware that a British picture exported is much better for British trade and British art than paint and brushes exported, and until the picture is painted how can he know whether it is exportable or not?

Sir S. Cripps

Both are valuable exports, but we are certain of the brushes.

Mrs. Nichol

May I remind my right hon. and learned Friend that the shortage is felt very keenly in schools other than specialised art schools, and that teachers have to resort to all kinds of measures?

Sir S. Cripps

I quite appreciate the difficulties, and that is why we are trying to stimulate production as fast as we can.