Rubber (Exports to U.S.A.)

Oral Answers to Questions — Trade and Commerce – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 3 November 1949.

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Photo of Mr David Gammans Mr David Gammans , Hornsey 12:00, 3 November 1949

asked the President of the Board of Trade if he will make a statement on the negotiations he has conducted with the United States Government with a view to facilitating the export of natural rubber to that country.

Photo of Mr Harold Wilson Mr Harold Wilson , Ormskirk

At the tripartite discussions in Washington in September, the United States representatives stated that the United States Government was prepared to open to natural rubber a substantial additional area of competition, including a modification of the Government regulations relating to the consumption of synthetic rubber, and that it would review its stockpiling programme. Later in that month, the regulations were in fact relaxed so as to enable United States manufacturers, if they so desire, to use an additional 50,000 tons of natural rubber in 1950. The Bureau of Federal Supplies has also recently announced that it will consider offers for limited quantities of rubber for the stockpile.

Photo of Mr David Gammans Mr David Gammans , Hornsey

Can the right hon. Gentleman give any firm figures with regard to the possibilities of stockpiling?

Photo of Mr Harold Wilson Mr Harold Wilson , Ormskirk

No, Sir, not at this stage.

Photo of Sir Walter Fletcher Sir Walter Fletcher , Bury

Were the Dutch, as the next biggest rubber producers, taken into consultation in this matter?

Photo of Mr Harold Wilson Mr Harold Wilson , Ormskirk

I would like notice of that question.

Photo of Mr Thomas Scollan Mr Thomas Scollan , Renfrewshire Western

In view of the proposal to allow £50,000 worth to go into the country, may I ask whether there has been any change in the regulations which said that 62 per cent. of all rubber goods used in the United States must be made of synthetic rubber?

Photo of Mr Harold Wilson Mr Harold Wilson , Ormskirk

I do not think that my hon. Friend has stated the regulation correctly. The changes do not represent a decision to import £50,000 worth more. It was some modification—I cannot call it more than that—of the regulations.