HC Deb 11 July 1961 vol 644 cc180-1
5. Mr. Ellis Smith

asked the President of the Board of Trade what recent action has been taken to assist the pottery industry; if he is satisfied with the amount of exports; and what further steps he proposes to take to increase exports of all forms of ceramics.

Mr. Maudling

The output of the pottery industry in 1960 and so far in 1961 has been increasing, and it continues to have an excellent export record. The Board of Trade export services are freely available to the industry and I am always ready to do what I can to help.

Mr. Ellis Smith

Is the Minister aware that I was very impressed, as were others, with the way in which he handled affairs last Friday morning? When will he apply the same kind of dynamic to industries of this kind which are eager to increase their exports if they are given more encouragement? Is he aware that they are embarking on a large promotion of home sales? While we shall support that, would it not be better if they were encouraged to bring about a considerable increase in their exports?

Mr. Maudling

The pottery industry is an outstanding example of an industry producing a high-quality British product with a fine export record. Anything that I can do to help its exports I will gladly do.

Mrs. Slater

Is the Minister aware that during the last month, for the first time since the industry started up after the war, there has been a drop in exports, so that his help and that of his Department would be very much appreciated? Would he look into the matter?

Mr. Maudling

My figures show that in the first quarter of this year sales were 4 per cent. up on the figure for the first quarter of 1960. I think that the curve is still upwards, and anything that I can do to make it go still more upwards will gladly do.

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