HC Deb 27 May 1946 vol 423 cc814-5
38. Mr. Edelman

asked the President of the Board of Trade what percentage of piano production is at present allocated to the home market.

Mr. Belcher

Owing to the shortage of the raw materials needed, especially timber, the production of pianos is at present reserved for export only.

Mr. Edelman

In view of the fact that pianos, apart from their potential artistic value, are also articles of domestic furniture, will my hon. Friend consider increasing the quota for the home market and, having done so, give preference in distribution to young married couples setting up home for the first time?

Mr. Belcher

We might argue the merits of the piano as an article of artistic value; that will depend on one's neighbours. However, a piano cannot be described as a necessity, or anything approaching a necessity. It is essential to maintain an export trade, and we choose this as one of those things which can be exported with little harm to our own people.