Crockery.

Oral Answers to Questions — Trade and Commerce. – in the House of Commons on 20th May 1942.

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Photo of Flight Lieut Wavell Wakefield Flight Lieut Wavell Wakefield , Swindon

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he is aware of the scarcity of crockery in certain districts; and what steps he is proposing to take for priority issue to those housewives who have increased needs due to war workers and evacuee children being billeted upon them?

Photo of Mr Charles Waterhouse Mr Charles Waterhouse , Leicester South

I am aware of the scarcity of crockery; exports have been reduced since 1st May, and other steps are being taken to increase supplies. A survey is being undertaken to ascertain the areas in which the shortage is relatively greatest, and supplies will be specially directed to those areas.

Photo of Flight Lieut Wavell Wakefield Flight Lieut Wavell Wakefield , Swindon

asked the President of the Board of Trade in view of the scarcity of crockery throughout the country for domestic use, what steps he is taking to overcome this scarcity by increased use of plastic or other appropriate raw materials in substitution therefor?

Photo of Mr Charles Waterhouse Mr Charles Waterhouse , Leicester South

The possibility of increasing the production of plastic tableware is being examined in consultation with the Ministry of Supply and the industry. Manufacturers of articles of plastic material are heavily engaged, however, on important Government work, and they can make only a relatively small contribution to our total requirements of crockery.

Photo of Major Abraham Lyons Major Abraham Lyons , Leicester East

asked the President of the Board of Trade what benefit has accrued in relation to the availability of undecorated low-priced crockery consequent upon recent provisions; whether he is aware of the great shortage still existing for essential purposes; what other steps he proposes to take to ensure more manufacture of these articles and their ready supply at proper prices?

Photo of Mr Charles Waterhouse Mr Charles Waterhouse , Leicester South

I am aware that there is still a shortage of domestic pottery, in spite of the fact that since 1st December there has been no limitation on the supply of these goods for the home market. My right hon. Friend has accordingly restricted the exports of pottery to 80 per cent. of the 1941 level for the three months May-July and has warned the industry to expect a further reduction from August to 60 per cent. or less, with the object of releasing productive capacity for essential home supplies. An order controlling prices has been drafted and will be signed very soon.

Photo of Major Abraham Lyons Major Abraham Lyons , Leicester East

Will the Department keep in touch with the trade concerned, in the hope of doing something else should the new provisions not be sufficient for this purpose?

Photo of Mr Charles Waterhouse Mr Charles Waterhouse , Leicester South

Yes, Sir, we will certainly keep in touch.

Photo of Mr Frederick Montague Mr Frederick Montague , Islington West

Will the Order controlling prices have anything to do with reducing prices? Is the Minister aware that poor people have now to pay several shillings for a cup such as cost only a few pence before the war?

Photo of Mr Charles Waterhouse Mr Charles Waterhouse , Leicester South

Yes, I can assure my hon. Friend that cases of that sort will be dealt with, and a reduction will be brought about.

Photo of Sir Joseph Lamb Sir Joseph Lamb , Stone

Will the control of prices also affect glassware?

Photo of Mr Charles Waterhouse Mr Charles Waterhouse , Leicester South

I should like notice of that Question.