Synthetic Rubber Imports (Dollar Cost)

Oral Answers to Questions — Trade and Commerce – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 2nd February 1956.

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Photo of Mr William Proctor Mr William Proctor , Eccles 12:00 am, 2nd February 1956

asked the President of the Board of Trade what will be the cost in dollars of the synthetic rubber, the purchase of which has been authorised from the United States of America.

Photo of Mr Peter Thorneycroft Mr Peter Thorneycroft , Monmouth

Imports have been authorised from North America, not specifically from the United States, at an estimated cost of 43 million dollars.

Photo of Mr William Proctor Mr William Proctor , Eccles

Does the President consider that this expenditure of dollars is justified, in view of the alternative of the purchase in sterling of natural rubber?

Photo of Mr Peter Thorneycroft Mr Peter Thorneycroft , Monmouth

I think it is generally recognised that some proportion of synthetic rubber is necessary in a flourishing and competitive rubber manufacturing industry. I do not think that imports of this kind lead to a reduction in the total of natural rubber imported.

Photo of Mr William Proctor Mr William Proctor , Eccles

In view of the uncertainly which the right hon. Gentleman expresses, would he look further into the matter?

Photo of Mr Peter Thorneycroft Mr Peter Thorneycroft , Monmouth

I have looked fairly closely into it and as a result have given the Answer which I have just given.

Photo of Mr Arthur Bottomley Mr Arthur Bottomley , Rochester and Chatham

If the President's statement is correct, is it possible to obtain synthetic rubber other than from dollar sources?

Photo of Mr Peter Thorneycroft Mr Peter Thorneycroft , Monmouth

This appears to be the best and the most economic source. Indeed, in many ways it is the only source for some types of this rubber.

Photo of Mr Cyril Osborne Mr Cyril Osborne , Louth Borough

Is the President aware that preparations are already being made to manufacture synthetic rubber in this country, and that within a reasonable time we shall be free from having to buy dollar imports of this raw material?

Photo of Mr Peter Thorneycroft Mr Peter Thorneycroft , Monmouth

I am aware of the suggestions for its manufacture in this country.