HC Deb 22 November 1949 vol 470 cc24-5W
81 and 82. Mr. Ellis Smith

asked the President of the Board of Trade (1) if he is aware of the great demand for North Staffordshire manufactured pottery in the United States of America and Canada and that there is a desire to meet this demand; and what urgent action does he intend taking to facilitate the needs of the industry.

(2) if he will take action to ensure a fair distribution of pottery export rejects; and if he will allow a limited number of firms to manufacture decorated pottery for the home market on condition that they promote equitable distribution throughout the country.

Mr. J. Edwards:

So far as concerns the urgent need to take action more fully to meet the demand for our domestic pottery from the dollar markets, I would refer my hon. Friend to the reply which I gave to my hon. Friend the Member for the Forest of Dean (Mr. Philips Price) on 1st November last. Because the main factor holding back a quick expansion in this industry's dollar exports is still the extreme scarcity of decorating labour, I regret that we cannot agree to allow, as my hon. Friend suggests, a limited number of firms to employ this labour for the production of ware for sale at home. Indeed I would like to take this opportunity of making clear that in the prevailing circumstances it does not look as though it will be possible to relax the present restrictions on the sale of decorated ware in the shops at home for a long time to come.'

Export rejects are normally distributed by manufacturers to their customers in proportion to each customer's total purchases.