HC Deb 14 June 1951 vol 488 cc2481-2
1. Mr. A. Edward Davies

asked the President of the Board of Trade what progress has been made recently with the proposal to set up a development council for the pottery industry; and what further action is proposed.

The President of the Board of Trade (Sir Hartley Shawcross)

Details of the proposals referred to in the reply given by my predecessor to my hon. Friend on 22nd February have been worked out by my officials and are now being considered by the industry.

Mr. Davies

Does not my right hon. and learned Friend take the view that it is time we had a decision on this important matter, especially in view of the information he gave to my hon. Friend the Member for Stoke-on-Trent, South (Mr. Ellis Smith) last Thursday when he said there was great expansion of this industry? Is it not a fact that in matters of health, status, and problems relating to exports the workers have a great interest? Ought they not to be considered and would not a development council help in this matter?

Sir H. Shawcross

I think that implementation of the proposals would be of value in the industry, but it was necessary to consider very carefully how some aspects of these proposals would fit in with the legal framework of the Act.

Mr. R. S. Hudson

Is not the real difficulty of the pottery industry the shortage of workers? Is there not a plentiful demand at home for pottery, especially coloured pottery, all of which is being exported?

Sir H. Shawcross

Yes, but it is important, in view of the difficulties of the industry, that we should find the most efficient and economical methods for increasing its output.