HC Deb 24 April 1951 vol 487 cc33-4W
Mr. N. Macpherson

80, 81 and 82. asked the President of the Board of Trade, (1) in view of the shortage of sulphur in this country, why his Department declines to purchase lots offered from sources other than the United States of America;

(2) what encouragement he gives to importers to obtain sulphur from every possible source;

(3) why purchases of sulphur made by manufacturers in this country from sources other than the United States of America are deducted from the allocation to them by his Department.

Mr. Bottomley

Consumers of sulphur who wish to import privately any quantity they can secure to supplement the amount they are licensed to receive from the allocation made to us by the United States, have been told they are free to do so. Import licences are granted freely. All possible help is given to overcome any difficulties that arise in the completion of transactions, and any importers who are not themselves consumers, if they so desire, are put into touch with consumers.

No deduction is made by the Board of Trade in respect of any private purchase from the supply a consumer is licensed to receive from sulphur imported from the United States. The Board is not competing with private purchasers, but will consider any direct offer where the conditions of sale are reasonable.

83. Mr. Baker White

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he will approach the Canadian Government on the possibility of investigating, as a long-term measure, the prospects of obtaining supplies of sulphur from the tar sands in Alberta, Canada.

Mr. Bottomley

The possibility of increasing production of sulphur throughout the world is one of the aspects of the sulphur problem which are at present being examined by the Sulphur Committee of the International Materials Conference in Washington. The Canadian Government are represented on the Committee so that they will already have full information about the importance of developing sulphur production. I have been informed that commercial projects are already in hand for producing sulphur in Alberta.

88. Air Commodore Harvey

asked the President of the Board of Trade, in view of the shortage of sulphur, what estimate he has made of the likely effect on the textile industry in Macclesfield.

Mr. Rhodes

It is impossible to make any such estimate in view of the many industrial uses of sulphur.