HC Deb 01 May 1952 vol 499 cc1632-3
10. Mr. William Shepherd

asked the President of the Board of Trade what steps are being taken by the Raw Cotton Commission to supply Lancashire spinners with American cotton at the current world prices.

Mr. P. Thorneycroft

The Raw Cotton Commission average their selling prices of all American type cottons. Their present average price is 1¼d. per lb. higher than the corresponding cost of United States cotton but appreciably lower than the cost of the most expensive non-dollar cotton of American type.

My noble Friend the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and I are examining, in consultation with the industry, the case for providing sufficient dollars for the purchase of United States cotton next season, to enable United Kingdom users to obtain supplies at United States levels; but the decision must depend, among other factors, on our available dollar resources and on the importance of other claims upon them.

Mr. Shepherd

Will my right hon. Friend bear in mind that in the days of strict competition that we have now even these small differentiations have a very adverse effect upon our export possibilities?

Mr. Thorneycroft

I will certainly bear that very important and very true consideration in mind.