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Barrage Balloon Scrap

Volume 389: debated on Wednesday 5 May 1943

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61 and 62

asked the Minister of(I) whether he is aware that Rubber Control is calling for the release of barrage balloon scrap and that thousands of yards of uncut material are being offered for sale in South Wales free of Purchase Tax and coupon free; and whether he will explain the reason for this anomaly;

(2) the considerations that enabled the demolition contractors, engaged by his Department, to demolish a fire-damaged barrage balloon factory in South Wales, to dispose of some 10,000 yards of balloon fabric for resale in retail shops?

With the hon. Member's permission, I will answer Questions 61 and 62 together.

On a point of Order. When a Minister asks for permission and immediately assumes he has got it, what can an hon. Member do when he does not wish to give that permission?

It is so usual to give that permission that I do not know any other way out than to do so.

I will, with my hon. Friend's permission, answer the two Questions together. I am obliged to him for calling my attention to this matter. I regret that, owing to a misapprehension, a mistake was made in allowing this material to be disposed of, and steps are being taken with a view to recovering it.

63.

asked the Minister of Supply why the Rubber Control has called for the return waste rubber scrap from barrage balloon manufacture which has been used for making shopping bags, etc., from a small factory in South Wales, whilst gill permitting the use of this scrap material for the same purpose in Luton; and whether he has any statement to make thereon?

The manufacture of shopping bags from waste rubber has been prohibited since June last by the Control of Rubber (No. 14) Order. I am not aware that any firm in Luton has infringed this prohibition.

Is the Minister aware that a firm in Luton is advertising these shopping bags and that I was able to get one last week? For some months now the prohibition has applied to South Wales. Will the Minister see that it applies equitably?

The Question I had to answer applied to the making of shopping bags, whereas the Supplementary Question refers to the selling of them. I shall be very glad indeed to consider this matter if the hon. Member will give me further particulars.

I referred in my Supplementary Question to a firm in Luton making and offering for sale a very substantial quantity. They are seeking for new orders and new production.

I shall be glad to have particulars, as my information is to the contrary.