HC Deb 11 March 1958 vol 584 cc219-20
33. Mr. Barter

asked the President of the Board of Trade, his intentions with regard to the authorisation of a supplementary quota for the twelve months' period ending 26th June, 1958, for the importation of baths from Hungary.

Mr. Erroll

I am sorry that I cannot disclose details of this kind while the negotiations are still in progress; but my hon. Friend may be assured that full weight will be given to the representations which have been made to us by this industry.

Mr. Barter

Will my hon. Friend give consideration to the fact that there is considerable capacity for United Kingdom manufacturers and to the need for consultation with British industry?

Mr. Erroll

We give full weight to the representations made by industry but, while there may be sufficient capacity, imports at the present level of about £35,000, in 1957, are quite insignificant compared with the domestic production of £7 million.

Mr. Malcolm MacPherson

Does the hon. Gentleman realise that this industry, particularly in my constituency, is part of the ironfounding industry which is working short-time and has been for years? Will he consult the industry about any steps of this sort?

Mr. Storey

Is my hon. Friend aware that the Borough of Barking is specifying Hungarian baths for the houses which it is building? Is he aware that in my constituency there is a firm which would be only too pleased to manufacture these baths and will he consult the Ministry of Housing and Local Government about what steps can be taken to restrain local authorities which are building subsidised houses from preventing British firms from tendering for fittings?

Mr. Erroll

That is an important point. There is a later Question on the Order Paper addressed to my right hon. Friend the Minister of Works.