HC Deb 06 April 1948 vol 449 cc22-3
47. Mr. Blyton

asked the President of the Board of Trade if he is aware of the great shortage of cups and saucers in the North-East area; and if he will take steps to improve the distribution of supplies to this area.

Mr. Belcher

The output of domestic crockery is increasing, and following a drive for greater production recently opened in North Staffordshire, I am confident that the rate of increase will be still greater. However, because of the great export opportunities of the industry, these increased supplies must be sent abroad, and I cannot promise any early improvement of home market supplies, although I know that all domestic crockery is very scarce in the shops. I am however, having inquiries made to see whether the North-East area is exceptionally badly supplied. If it is, I will try to arrange for some special deliveries.

Mr. Blyton

Will my hon. Friend also see that the quality is better; because the cups being supplied at present are like jam jars, rather than cups?

Mr. Belcher

To the best of my knowledge there has been no complaint about the quality of the crockery which is being supplied, but if my hon. Friend will let me know of any complaints, I will do what I can about them.

Mr. Henderson Stewart

Is the hon. Gentleman aware that the same acute shortage has occurred in the East of Scotland? Is he satisfied that the method of allocating such limited supplies as are available is the proper method?

Mr. Belcher

The answer is that there is no system of allocation. We depend upon the manufacturers themselves to send crockery where they feel it is required. If there are any particular examples of places where the shortages are greater than normal, we should be prepared to ask the manufacturers to co-operate in relieving the shortages.