HC Deb 29 January 1948 vol 446 cc1182-3
29. Dr. Barnett Stross

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he is aware that the shortage of lithographic prints is adversely affecting the pottery industry; and what action he is taking to increase the supply.

Mr. H. Wilson

I am aware of the shortage of lithographic transfers, the production of which is highly specialised, and is limited primarily by the shortage of skilled operatives. I am in touch with my right hon. Friend the Minister of Labour and National Service on possible means of meeting this difficulty. I understand, however, that recent developments in the process of production of lithographic plates should shortly lead to a substantial increase in the output of transfer prints.

Dr. Stross

While I thank my right hon. Friend for his answer and the hope it gives for increasing the supply, may I ask is he aware that the inability to reproduce and replace the orders which have been executed, tends to give the industry a bad reputation abroad? Is he further aware that in 1947 its export value was 350 per cent. of the 1938 value, and that it could be better this year if we could have this help?

Mr. Wilson

Yes, Sir. In spite of the very remarkable performance in exports in 1947, it is a fact that we still have not made up for the loss of prewar imports from Germany. Steps are being taken which ought to improve the position.