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Tyres (Commercial Vehicles)

Volume 436: debated on Thursday 24 April 1947

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16.

asked the President of the Board of Trade if he is aware of the continued shortage of 34-inch by 7-inch and 32-inch by 6-inch lorry tyres in Norfolk and that this is interfering with the transport of flour, seed corn, agricultural feeding stuffs and fertilisers; and if he will have the position investigated as a matter of urgency.

17.

asked the President of the Board of Trade if he is aware of the continuing shortage of tyres for commercial vehicles; and whether he will take immediate steps to improve supplies and so avoid the immobilisation of road vehicles to the detriment of the export and commercial life of the country.

The supply of replacement tyres, for commercial vehicles which was slowly overtaking demand has received a temporary set-back owing to the fuel crisis. Manufacturers are concentrating production, as far as practicable, on the sizes such as 34 by 7 which are in greatest demand, and supplies are distributed as equitably as possible throughout the country. The situation is being watched closely.

Is the Minister aware that at present there are hardly any of these tyres available in the whole of Norfolk, and that there is a great risk of vehicles having to be taken off the roads, thus interfering with agricultural transport? Will he give all the help he can?

I will certainly give all the help I can. If the local suppliers of tyres are in really serious difficulties, they should communicate with the tyre manufacturers.

Is my hon. Friend aware that this is an old problem in the transport industry? Will he satisfy himself that a disproportionate amount of tyres is not being exported to the detriment of the requirements of our home trade?

That is not the case. Towards the end of last year the production of the large tyres, the 34 by 7, used commercially, was three times the prewar production.

Will the hon. Gentleman take note of the fact that the shortage is not due to the shortage of rubber in this country, in view of the fact that the Government have been willing to sell 6,000 tons of rubber to Russia at 3d. under the price at which they are selling it here?