HC Deb 21 May 1957 vol 570 c1020
26. Miss Pike

asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Works, as representing the Lord President of the Council, what work the Joint Fire Research Organisation is doing on the new way of making fabrics flame-resistant, which has been reported from the United States of America.

Mr. H. Nicholls

The process referred to is understood to be in an early stage of development and is not in commercial production; no samples are available in this country, and no work could therefore be done on this particular project. Many similar processes have already been investigated in the United Kingdom and some progress has been made, but none has so far satisfied the essential requirement of permanency.

Miss Pike

While thanking my hon. Friend for that reply, may I ask him whether he realises how important it is to encourage manufacturers to produce flame-resistant materials? Will he do everything possible to publicise the results of research into this problem?

Mr. Nicholls

I can assure my hon. Friend that the Government will do all they can to assist in this matter. The trade itself has set up a joint research committee to look into the possibilities of co-ordinating all its researches on this problem. On the question of encouraging manufacturers, I think that, as the hon. Lady the Member for Coatbridge (Mrs. Mann) has said so often, we also want to encourage housewives and mothers to take special care when buying material to see that they get the best materials that are available in the shops. There has been some reluctance on the part of some purchasers to buy flame-resistant fabrics, and we should like to encourage them to do so, if possible.