HC Deb 01 March 1951 vol 484 cc2276-7
21. Mr. Assheton

asked the President of the Board of Trade if he is aware that the shortage of hessian has now reached serious proportions and is threatening the employment of people in Blackburn; and if he will give permission for hessian to be imported otherwise than through the Jute Control.

Mr. H. Wilson

I am well aware that shortage of hessian has reached serious proportions, but can hold out no hope of any improvement in the situation until there is a substantial increase in supplies from India. The Jute Control is importing all the hessian that is available from any source, and, if purchases were on private account, the total, therefore, would not be increased. It is also essential for all imports to be regulated by the Control in order that the limited supplies available may be directed where they are most needed.

Mr. Assheton

Will the right hon. Gentleman have any further information to give before long on this very important matter, which is causing great anxiety to those whose employment is threatened?

Mr. Wilson

Yes, Sir; I am aware of that anxiety, and I very much hope that the recently concluded trade agreement between India and Pakistan may, before long, have the effect of improving the supplies of jute to this country.