§ 10. Mr. Robert Carr
asked the Minister of Supply whether he is satisfied that sufficient quantities of the right quality of steel are, and will continue to be, available to the manufacturers of ball bearings to enable them to meet the essential requirements of the engineering industries.
§ Mr. G. R. Strauss
Sufficient supplies of steel of the types required by the manufacturers of ball and roller bearings are being maintained. Manufacturers have been asked to furnish estimates of their forward requirements and every effort will be made to meet essential needs.
§ Mr. Strauss
Yes, as far as we are aware, the ball bearing making companies have been able to get the supplies which they require to maintain their present output, though sometimes with some difficulty.
§ Mr. Geoffrey Lloyd
Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that one of the largest firms manufacturing these bearings, in the Midlands, have lately been warned that they can have only 80 per cent. of their requirements of steel during period 2, which I understand starts almost at once?
§ Mr. Sandys
In view of the acute shortage of ball bearings which we experienced in the last war, can the Minister say what steps he is taking to expand our production or, alternatively, to stock-pile ball bearings from Sweden and other manufacturing countries?
§ Mr. Strauss
There has been some expansion of the ball bearing industry recently, but until we have further information from the ball bearing companies, which we have asked for, it is impossible at this stage to say to what extent we shall be able to cover our own ball bearing needs.