HC Deb 10 November 1949 vol 469 cc131-2W
2 and 3. Mr. J. Lewis

asked the President of the Board of Trade (1) if he will make a statement regarding the quantities of carbon black which were imported into this country during the first six months of 1949, specifying the grades and the total cost; and if he will estimate the requirements and the cost in 1950;

(2) if he will make a statement on the steps which have been taken to produce carbon black in this country, indicating the quality of this carbon black as compared with the American product; its suitability for tyre production; the quantities which it is estimated will be produced in 1950 in relation to the demand; and the net saving of dollars which should result.

Mr. H. Wilson

In the first six months of 1949, 14,279 tons of carbon blacks made from natural gas and 2,498 tons of other blacks were imported. The total value of these imports was just over £1 million. Production of furnace black has already begun in one of the three factories which are being built in this country, but it is too early to say to what extent its production may replace imported blacks. It is expected that the other two, which will make furnace blacks similar to brands now being imported from America and suitable for use in the tyre industry, will be working about the middle of next year. As the need for imported blacks will depend on the progress of these developments, I cannot give a useful estimate of the 1950 imports of carbon black. I can, however, inform my hon. Friend that the total output of the three new factories will, it is hoped, supply about half the country's requirements.