HC Deb 05 April 1951 vol 486 cc361-2
18. Mr. Assheton

asked the President of the Board of Trade if he will now make a further statement with regard to supplies of raw cotton.

Mr. H. Wilson

I regret that I am not yet able to make a further statement.

Mr. Assheton

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware of the increasing anxiety about this matter? How soon will he be able to make a further statement?

Mr. Wilson

I have, I think, already stated in the House what is the allocation of raw cotton granted by the United States Government. There has been a commodity conference on cotton, but there will be no further action taken by them until the prospects for the new crop year are available.

Mr. Osborne

Is the right hon. Gentleman satisfied that the supplies of raw cotton are adequate to meet the rearmament demands?

Mr. Wilson

I have said on a number of occasions that I am not at all satisfied that the allocations of cotton granted to us, even allowing for the very big purchases which are being made in other countries, are adequate to meet our requirements.

Mr. Harrison

Has my right hon. Friend made inquiries into the possibility of increasing supplies from Egypt and the Sudan?

Mr. Wilson

We have scoured the earth for supplies of cotton and we have got increased supplies wherever they can be got.