§ [The question was as follows:
§ To ask His Majesty's Government whether it is true that the stocks of raw wool in this country represent fourteen years of normal supply; if not, how many years normal supply do they represent, and in any event, why are allocations to manufacturers so seriously restricted and controlled even in respect to manufactured exports.]
§ 5.31 p.m.
My Lords, stocks of raw wool still in the United Kingdom are not greatly in excess of one year's consumption, the great bulk of the wool owned by the Joint Wool Organization being held in the Dominions. In regard to the second main point in the question, the labour force in the industry is still much below pre-war strength, and it is necessary to secure that essential home needs and export demand are met in 146 proper proportions. Manufacturers receive a ration of raw wool sufficient to meet their essential home and export production. If their capacity proves in excess of this they are allocated more wool, for approved purposes, by Wool Control.
My Lords, arising from that, may I ask whether "approved purposes" may include new industries in wool—that is, new types of manufacture in wool? At the present moment I know of a case where a new type of manufacture in wool, which would have a market in one of the Dominions, has not been granted the amount of wool that is required because it is a new product. I ask the noble Lord to bear in mind that, with a rapidly-increasing secondary industry in the Dominions, competitive with our own, if there are any new products which can be manufactured, and are acceptable to the Dominions, every encouragement should be given to them.
The noble Viscount may rest assured that the point he has raised is already receiving attention.
May I ask, if the case of which I knew is finally turned down, whether I may bring it to the noble Lord for the consideration of the Department?
I can assure the noble Viscount that any matter which concerns the public business of the Board of Trade can be brought to me as the spokesman of the Board of Trade in this House.
THE LORD CHANCELLOR acquainted the House that the Clerk of Parliaments had laid upon the Table the Certificate from the Examiners that the further Standing Orders applicable to the following Bill have been complied with:
Gas Light and Coke Company [H.L.],
§ also the Certificates that the Standing Orders applicable to the following Bill have not been complied with:
- Cable and Wireless,
- Railways (Valuation for Rating).
- London County Council [Money].
§ The same were ordered to lie on the Table.