HC Deb 11 July 1961 vol 644 cc179-80
4. Mr. Ellis Smith

asked the President of the Board of Trade what action he is taking or proposes to take to increase the export of all forms of manufactured plastics; if he will refer to the Monopolies Commission the manufacture of fibre-glass and synthetic resins; and what information he has as to why imported resins are cheaper than resins made in England.

Mr. Maudling

All the normal facilities provided by the Government to help exporters are available for manufactured plastics. I have no evidence to suggest that the supply of the materials mentioned ought to be referred to the Monopolies Commission, or that prices for the domestic product are in general higher than imports, but I will certainly consider any information the hon. Member cares to send me.

Mr. Ellis Smith

Does the right hon. Gentleman agree with me that there are great potentialities in this trade and that Britain, technically, is leading the world in it? Is he aware that a number of manufacturers have complained to me that they could considerably increase their exports if the cost of the materials about which they complain, like synthetic resin and fibre glass, were cheaper? They say that they can import synthetic resin from Germany cheaper than they can buy it in this country. Will the right hon. Gentleman look into the matter?

Mr. Maudling

If the people can import them more cheaply, then there is not a burden, obviously, in the cost of the raw materials. But I should be very happy to consider any case which the hon. Member gives me. In the meantime, I point out that exports of plastic materials in the last three years have risen by 50 per cent. The industry is doing very well.