HC Deb 17 July 1950 vol 477 cc1860-1
63. Mr. Porter

asked the President of the Board of Trade under what circumstances and to what extent his regulations permit an ordinary householder to purchase small quantities of soft or hard wood so as to enable him to do his own minor repairs.

The Parliamentary Secretary to the Board of Trade (Mr. Rhodes)

The ordinary householder may buy without any licence most kinds of hardwood and many types of plywood. He can only buy softwood against a licence and for essential work.

Mr. Porter

Is the procedure the same for a private person applying for 2s. worth of timber as for those buying considerable quantities? Is there some scheme whereby householders can get a licence?

Mr. Rhodes

The small user in that category usually applies to the supplier.

Mr. Vane

Does not the Parliamentary Secretary agree that it is unnecessarily complicated to make the small consumer apply for a licence when he wants to buy 2s. worth of timber? Will he not consider restoring the position whereby a person can buy £1 worth of timber every two months?

Mr. Rhodes

No, Sir. It is very necessary at the moment to keep this restriction in being.

Colonel Gomme-Duncan

While not wishing to add to the difficulties of Ministers, can I ask them to speak into the microphone as we on this side of the House cannot hear what is said?

Mr. Porter

Is my hon. Friend aware that the reason why I have put down this Question is because a person who applied for 2s. 6d. worth of wood was refused the wood because there was no licence?

Mr. Rhodes

Let me remove that misunderstanding. A licence is required but for a small amount like that the supplier usually gets it for the user.