HC Deb 20 March 1946 vol 420 c1875
83. Mr. S. Shephard

asked the President of the Board of Trade what percentage of the total production of lace net and lace curtains is now allowed to be sold in the home market.

The Parliamentary Secretary to the Board of Trade (Mr. Belcher)

The only products of the lace industry at present made for the home market are lace curtains and hair nets. The output of these goods absorbs about 17 per cent. of the cotton yarn and 9 per cent. of the rayon yarn at present allocated to the lace industry.

Mr. Shephard

Is this not carrying austerity a little too far? Is it not time that the people of this country had a fair share of the lace curtains that are made here?

Mr. Belcher

We are aware of the de sire of the people of this country for an increase in their supplies of domestic goods, but in view of the shortage of cotton yarn, it just is not possible to allocate any more at present to this industry, and, owing to the larger conversion value of the cotton for export purposes, we are compelled at present to divert this rather large proportion to export.