HC Deb 15 April 1958 vol 586 cc20-1
35. Mr. Barter

asked the Minister of Works what was the output of cast-iron baths in the United Kingdom in 1957; to what extent this was sufficient to meet the home and export demand; and to what extent it is anticipated that United Kingdom manufacturing capacity will exceed demand during the current year.

The Minister of Works (Mr. Hugh Molson)

I regret that figures of output of cast-iron baths are no longer collected so that I cannot answer the first or last parts of this Question. I am satisfied, however, that present capacity is sufficient to meet both home and export demand.

Mr. Barter

Will my right hon. Friend bear in mind that there is a surplus of capacity in the British bath manufacturing industry, and will he call the attention of his right hon. Friend the President of the Board of Trade to this fact so that he also is aware of the circumstances in which the Socialist-controlled Barking Borough Council can specify baths of Hungarian manufacture, thus creating an embargo on the products of British workmen?

Mr. Molson

I have no reason to suppose that this small importation of Hungarian baths under a payments agreement is having any adverse effect upon the large British production.

Mr. Hastings

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that great trouble was taken by the Barking Borough Council to obtain what it wanted, and that, because it was unsuccessful in getting British goods, it had to go abroad for them?

Mr. Molson

I was not aware of that, but I am extremely glad to know that the Barking Borough Council obtained what it wanted. I have no doubt, however, that very satisfactory baths are also produced by the British industry.

Dame Florence Horsbrugh

Can my right hon. Friend suggest in what way it is thought that a Hungarian bath is better than a British bath?

Hon. Members


Mr. Albu

Is it not a fact that there are price-fixing arrangements in the bath-making industry of this country?