HC Deb 04 April 1955 vol 539 c814
30. Mr. J. E. B. Hill

asked the Minister of Supply whether he is aware that country blacksmiths and agricultural engineers are being hampered in urgent repair work by lack of mild steel rods and flats; and whether he will cause import licences to be granted for the comparatively small amounts required.

Sir E. Boyle

No, Sir. I am not aware of the particular difficulties to which my hon. Friend refers although I know that the high level of industrial demand for steel, including mild steel rods, flats and other light rolled sections, is causing some shortages. Deliveries of these types from home mills are now, however, over 10 per cent. higher than a year ago. They can be imported under open individual licences from non-dollar sources and my right hon. Friend the President of the Board of Trade is always prepared to consider applications for licences to import them for dollars.

Mr. Hill

Is my hon. Friend aware that delivery dates of country stock holders, from whom these blacksmiths draw their supplies mostly in small quantities of a few cwt. at a time, have lengthened from one month last year to 12 months this year, and would he therefore take any steps he can to shorten that period?

Sir E. Boyle

Additional supplies of light rolled steel products are now becoming available and are being distributed as fairly as possible amongst users and stock holders.

Forward to