HC Deb 23 November 1950 vol 481 cc498-9
40. Lieut.-Colonel Lipton

asked the President of the Board of Trade to what extent synthetic textiles are now being manufactured in this country as a substitute for wool; and when supplies will be available to the general public.

Mr. H. Wilson

Several synthetic fibres can be used for blending with wool, and rayon staple fibre is the one most used. Production of protein synthetic fibres in this country is only on an experimental scale at present, but one plant should be in commercial production early next year. Cloths made from this fibre will probably reach the public some 12 months later.

Lieut.-Colonel Lipton

Will my right hon. Friend do everything he possibly can to encourage these various forms of production, which will help to minimise high living costs, and alleviate hardships among the people suffering from the rise in wool prices?

Mr. Wilson

Yes, Sir. We are already doing everything we can, and are giving a lot of help to the particular scheme I have mentioned.

Mr. Drayson

Will the right hon. Gentleman look into the question of exports of rayon staple fibre and other synthetic fibres which could be used on machinery in this country? Will he take note of the fact that there is in my constituency machinery that is idle because raw material is being exported?

Mr. Wilson

I am always prepared to consider the balance between the home use and the export of these commodities, and I am quite sure the hon. Gentleman would not press for undue interference with the export drive.