HC Deb 27 May 1952 vol 501 cc1146-7
38. Mr. Driberg

asked the President of the Board of Trade if he will state the result of his consultations with the Service Departments on the possibility of including more rayon in their textile orders.

Mr. H. Strauss

The Board of Trade maintain close touch with the Service and Supply Departments on this matter. I would refer the hon. Member to the replies on this subject which my right hon. Friends the Minister of Supply, the Secretary of State for War, the First Lord of the Admiralty and my hon. Friend, the Under-Secretary of State for Air gave to the hon. Member for Flint, East (Mrs. White) on the 19th, 20th and 21st May respectively.

Mr. Driberg

As it is a little difficult for me to carry all these replies at once in my head, would the hon. and learned Gentleman be good enough to give a straightforward answer, and say whether any progress has been made, seriously, in this matter?

Mr. Strauss

I have referred the hon. Member to the answers which I thought would interest him, and which gave the information for which he asked. I must ask him to study those answers.

Mr. Edelman

Is the Minister aware that certain Government Departments do not specify rayon, as rayon was not commercially developed when these specifications were originally drafted; and, in those circumstances, will he have the specifications amended in order to include rayon particularly in connection with the National Health Service?

Mr. Strauss

I appreciate what is in the mind of the hon. Member on this subject. He fears that certain goods are still ordered on particular specifications which are no longer valid. That is the reason why the matter is now being investigated by the Departments which place the contracts. I think that the hon. Member will agree that these Departments must be satisfied that the goods concerned will satisfy their requirements.

Mr. G. Jeger

In view of the fact that this matter seems to be receiving the attention of a number of Ministries, would it not be advantageous to have a co-ordinating overlord to deal with it?