HC Deb 31 January 1952 vol 495 cc337-8
4. Mr. Norman Dodds

asked the President of the Board of Trade what progress has been made during 1951 in the production of the new textile fibre from groundnut husks; in what clothing it will be used; to what extent he estimates it will reduce costs of production; and what is the estimated production for 1952.

Mr. P. Thorneycroft

A factory in Dumfries, which was completed early in 1951, is now producing textile fibres from groundnut meal. I understand that this fibre can be used in blends with other textile fibres in the manufacture of fabrics suitable for outerwear, shirtings, dresses and other clothing. I cannot estimate the effect on costs of production, since this will depend upon the price and proportion of the materials with which it is blended and the articles concerned. No details are available of output in 1951 or estimated production in 1952, but I understand that the factory is capable of producing about 20 million 1b. a year.

Mr. Dodds

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that my right hon. Friend the Member for Huyton (Mr. H. Wilson) is wearing his monkey-nut fibre suit today and that he could not have a better one?

Mr. W. Fletcher

Cannot sack-cloth be made for the ex-Secretary of State for War?

Sir Ian Fraser

If this fabric were used in shirts would it not be suitable for monks and others who require the utmost degree of discomfort?