HC Deb 27 May 1946 vol 423 c805
17. Mr. W. Shepherd

asked the President of the Board of Trade what steps he is taking to reduce the present export rate of empty bottles, of over 20,000 gross per month, in view of the acute shortage which is being felt in this country at the present time.

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

Present exports of bottles constitute only about two per cent. of total production and are sent mainly to Empire countries which need them for their own industries. I am not prepared to reduce this rate of export.

Mr. Shepherd

Is the Minister aware that by exporting empty bottles, which could be exported full, he is losing considerable revenue?

Mr. Belcher

I am aware that the quantity exported is only a minute proportion of the total produced. Since they are being sent to Empire countries to assist them in their own industries, I cannot see my way to alter the present rate.

Lieut. - Commander Joynson - Hicks

Does the right hon. Gentleman accept the figure of 20,000 gross per month?

Mr. Belcher

The figure I accept is the one I gave, which is two per cent. of the total production.