HC Deb 06 February 1951 vol 483 c183W
77. Mr. Wedgwood Benn

asked the President of the Board of Trade by how much the price of imported softwood has increased since the timber import control scheme was modified in October, 1950; what are the reasons for these increases; what further increases are anticipated; and whether he will consider the re-imposition of fuller controls.

Mr. H. Wilson

In view of the date quoted, I presume my hon. Friend is referring to the prices now being paid by private importers of softwood. I am not in a position to quote these prices, but it is clear that our 1951 softwood imports, whether bought on private or on public account, will cost considerably more than those of 1950. The price rise is due to the same factors as are affecting the prices of most raw materials throughout the world. I cannot, of course, forecast future price trends. The answer to the last part of the Question is that if I were satisfied that any change in the methods of buying or in public control over the trade would help us to get more and cheaper softwood, I should not hesitate to make them.

83. Mr. D. Marshall

asked the President of the Board of Trade what is the price per cubic foot of Canadian poplar and Finnish aspen landed in English ports of a quality suitable for the manufacture of chip baskets.

Mr. Rhodes

As both these hardwoods are privately imported, I cannot quote the prices asked for.