HC Deb 13 August 1940 vol 364 c628W
Sir W. Allen

asked the First Lord of the Admiralty whether he is aware that large quantities of flax are being used for the manufacture of heavy materials for the Navy; and if he can see his way to use cotton for these materials and so release flax for the export trade of Northern Ireland since many spinning mills are closing down owing to shortage of flax, causing great concern and increased unemployment?

Sir V. Warrender

So far as the Admiralty's requirements of heavy linen fabrics are concerned, and these represent only about one-sixth of the present reduced consumption of the country as a whole, the need for conserving supplies of flax has been constantly in mind and the greatest possible relief has been obtained by the employment of substitute fibres such as cotton, jute and hemp.