HL Deb 13 November 1945 vol 137 cc875-6

5.37 p.m.


My Lords, I beg to ask the question standing in my name.

[The question was as follows:

To ask His Majesty's Government whether, in order to increase consumption of wool of which they hold such a large accumulation, and to help the Dominions, they consider stimulating consumption of wool wherever possible in substitution for cotton, which involves expenditure of dollar exchange; and will review and amend the coupon pointing of related apparel.]


My Lords, a joint organization is being set up under an agreement between the United Kingdom and Dominion Governments to secure the orderly liquidation of the accumulated stocks of wool. This, concurrently with the marketing of new clips, will encourage the consumption of wool. There is ample room for the expansion of both the wool and the cotton industries in this country. There would, however, be no purpose in stimulating the consumption of wool in substitution of cotton, since the output of both the wool and cotton industries is at present far below the requirements of the home and export markets and is likely to remain so for a considerable period. In particular, the down-pointing of woollen garments would not be possible at present since the existing output is only just sufficient to meet the demand at the present coupon pointing.


My Lords, arising out of that reply, I would point out to the noble Lord that the whole purpose of the question was to dear with the exchange point. The noble Lord has not answered the question at all. Cotton requires dollars and wool is bought with sterling.


Your Lordships must be the judges of whether the question has been answered. Arising out of the last point made by the noble Lord, your Lordships will be glad to know that in 1945 about one-third of our cotton consumption involved dollars. More broadly, the real difficulty at the present time is that neither the wool nor the cotton industries can supply us with all we can purchase. I do not know whether this is in order, but if the noble Lord can tell me where I can obtain boys' woollen pyjamas I shall be deeply in his debt.

House adjourned at twenty minutes before six o'clock.

Back to