HC Deb 05 March 1917 vol 91 c60W

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether the Government are providing facilities for the transport of wool in excess of that needed for the manufacture of clothing for military requirements and for the more immediately urgent needs of the civilian population; and, if so, whether he will consider the desirability of diminishing these facilities in order to prefer the conveyance of such imports as form valuable elements in the dietary of the working population?


The allocation of shipping for various national purposes is being considered by the Shipping Controller, in consultation with the other Departments concerned. It is at present proposed to give facilities for the shipment of wool in view of its importance for military purposes, and for the export trade; but it is not proposed to provide tonnage for wool for manufacture into goods not absolutely essential for home consumption at the expense of the tonnage available for shipping foodstuffs. It is contemplated that the need of tonnage for the transport of food from Australasian and other ports may appreciably reduce the quantity of wool which might otherwise be shipped. In this connection I may, perhaps, point out that the needs of the situation have already required a very heavy reduction in the import of other raw materials, such as timber and jute.