HC Deb 20 March 1947 vol 435 cc97-9W
72. Mr. Ellis Smith

asked the President of the Board of Trade what further steps he is taking to counteract the effect of the coal allocation on production in the pottery industry, in that constant pressure is being put on the industry for increased production to increase exports acid supplies for the home market while the coal allocation restricts production to a small output.

Sir S. Cripps

I regret that, despite the need for increased production of pottery for the home market and for export, it is not possible to increase allocations of coal to the industry at the present time. The allocations will, however, be kept under review, and we shall do our best to arrange for an increase as soon as supplies permit.

76. Mr. Sutcliffe

asked the President of the Board of Trade for what reasons the coal allocation to the cotton industry has been cut down from 65 per cent. to 48⅓per cent.; and whether, in view of the effect which it will have upon the production of cotton goods and the disturbance which it will cause to the balance of production between various types of mills and sections of the industry, he will arrange for an early review of the allocation in the closest consultation with representatives of the industry.

Sir S. Cripps

Coal allocations to industry are now being reviewed in the light of the latest estimates of the supplies likely to be available for industry in the next few weeks. As a result it has been found possible to maintain the allocation of cotton spinning in Lancashire at the previous rate of 65 per cent., but the allocation for weaving and finishing has, I regret, had to be reduced to 48⅓ per cent. We shall do all we can, as stated in answer to Questions by the hon. Members for Louth (Mr. Osborne) and Oldham (Mr. Fairhurst) on 18th March, consistent with the claims of other essential needs, to help the cotton industry to obtain fuel and to keep its production in balance; and the present allocation will be kept under constant review in the light of the supply situation. I can assure the hon. Member that there is close consultation in this matter between my Regional Controller and representative of the industry.

83. Mr. G. Wallace

asked the President of the Board of Trade what co-ordinating machinery exists to cover the allocation of solid fuel to industry.

Sir S. Cripps

The broad principles on which the supplies of coal available for industry are allocated are determined by my Department in agreement with the Ministry of Fuel and Power and the other Production Departments. Supplementary allowances to firms engaged on production of special importance, over and above the basic allocation for industry as a whole, are determined in the regions by the Fuel Allocation Committees of the Regional Boards, on which the Production Departments are represented, acting in accordance with general guidance from headquarters.

Mr. Mitchison

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether, in order to avoid the stoppage of leather-dressing works and the consequent increase in the existing shortage of material for the boot and shoe trade, he will reconsider the cut in fuel supplies to leather dressers in Kettering and elsewhere who use most of their fuel for processing.

Sir S. Cripps

The question of coal supplies to leather dressers in Kettering and elsewhere in the North Midland Region has been reviewed by the Regional Fuel Allocation Committee following on the recent reduction in the basic allocation. Although there are many claims on the regional pool for increasing the allocations of firms engaged on specially important production, I am glad to say that it has been found possible to arrange some supplementation for leather dressing.

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