HC Deb 06 March 1947 vol 434 cc619-20
2. Mr. Osborne

asked the President of the Board of Trade if he will make a statement as to the groups of industries which are to receive priority in the supply of electricity and coal throughout the coming year.

The President of the Board of Trade (Sir Stafford Cripps)

Until the details of the coal budget have been worked out, I regret that I am not in a position to make a statement about allocations of fuel to particular industries during the coming coal year.

Mr. Osborne

Will the President of the Board of Trade see that those industries where bottle necks exist, such as cop-making and spinning in textiles, get their allocations before those manufacturers who are dependent upon them for their supplies, and will he make plans for long-term power allocations, so that business men can plan production for the next 12 months with some degree of certainty?

Sir S. Cripps

That is what we are trying to do.

Mr. Hector Hughes

When dealing with this problem will the Minister make pro vision for Aberdeen and North-East Scot land, and indicate the distribution of the industries and groups of industries which will receive this priority?

Sir S. Cripps

We are looking into all these matters.

Sir Patrick Hannon

Will the right hon. and learned Gentleman really do something for the bottle making industry, which is at present in great difficulty, particularly as that industry has to supply bottles to many other industries?

Sir S. Cripps

I can appreciate the difficulty of the bottle making industry.

Mr. M. F. Titterington

In view of my right hon. and learned Friend's assurance, can I receive from him the encouragement that in his investigations he will look at the wool textile industry, having regard to their technical and geographical position, who are users of electricity and coal supplies, and who play a very important part in our export trade?

Sir S. Cripps

I will certainly try to look at all industries.

Viscount Hinchingbrooke

Has the President of the Board of Trade received representations from industry to the effect that some industrialists, rather than suffer capricious and unheralded cuts in electricity, would prefer to work to some system which would enable them to plan production?

Sir S. Cripps

My feeling is that they would prefer to work upon staggered hours which would overcome that difficulty.

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