HC Deb 01 May 1950 vol 474 cc1377-8
1. Mr. Bossom

asked the Minister of Supply, seeing that our sale of motor vehicles abroad must unavoidably vary from month to month, if he will consult those in the closest day to day touch with our overseas markets about some longterm arrangements for disposal of cars in the home market.

The Minister of Supply (Mr. G. R. Strauss)

I am in regular consultation with the motor industry through the National Motor Advisory Council and with manufacturers individually. Manufacturers have been told how many cars they may supply to the home market for the whole of 1950. Separate quotas have been set for each period of three months, but it is open to manufacturers to adjust supply between one period and another provided their totals for the year are not exceeded.

Mr. Bossom

Although the Minister has been having consultations, he never takes the advice of people with whom he consults. Is he aware that if he continues in this way he will create an impossible and ridiculous economic position? Manufacturers will not be able to supply either the home or the foreign market.

Mr. Strauss

The economic situation will be far worse if we do not continue to export a major part of our car manufacture.

Mr. Bossom

Is the Minister aware that we want to export but do not want to get into the stupid jam which he is creating by the present procedure?

9 Mr. Boyd-Carpenter

asked the Minister of Supply whether he has considered the resolution of the Kingston-upon-Thames Chamber of Commerce, a copy of which has been sent him, on the subject of the restricted allocation of Roods vehicles to the home market for the year 1950; and what action he proposes to take

Mr. G. R. Strauss

Yes, Sir; but the Government are not at present prepared to reconsider the policy of limiting the supply of commercial vehicles to the home market.

Mr. Boyd-Carpenter

Can the right hon. Gentleman say whether, before they decided upon that policy, the Government consulted with the representatives of trade and industry?

Mr. Strauss

We are continually having discussions, and I am personally, with this industry and with all other engineering industries.

Colonel Gomme-Duncan

Can the right hon. Gentleman tell us of any industry which approves of this move?

Mr. Strauss

That I do not know, but I know that it is essential, so that we should retain our balance of payments abroad and limit our capital expenditure at home, that there should be this limitation.