HC Deb 16 March 1948 vol 448 cc1884-5
66. Mr. John E. Haire

asked the Economic Secretary to the Treasury whether he will increase the allocation of timber to the furniture industry in order to eliminate the prevailing underemployment.

The Economic Secretary to the Treasury (Mr. Douģlas Jay)

I regret that, since most of the timber required by the furniture industry can only be bought for hard currencies, allocations must for the time being continue to be based on the minimum needs of consumers rather than on the capacity of the industry.

Mr. Haire

In view of the imminence of Marshall aid, will not my hon. Friend seriously reconsider this question? Does he appreciate that the demand for furniture is as great as ever and that underemployment in the industry is most wasteful of manpower?

Mr. Jay

I am afraid that we must be extremely cautious at the moment about the use of materials from dollar sources.