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Scaffold Boards (Importation)

Volume 440: debated on Thursday 17 July 1947

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asked the President of the Board of Trade if he has had the opportunity of considering the details which have been sent to him concerning the importation into Britain of 73,000 scaffold boards of which the building industry is in urgent need; and if he will take the necessary steps to issue the import licence forthwith.

I am satisfied that the importation of these boards would have adverse repercussions on the supplies of much larger quantities of softwood to this country; and I am, therefore, not prepared to issue an import licence.

Does the right hon. and learned Gentleman mean to say that when the building trade is crying out for scaffold boards, he will not grant this licence? Is he determined to stop the building of houses for the people of this country?

No, Sir. I am afraid that if we were to do this it would tend to stop building, because it would tend to make other larger quantities not available.

May I ask your guidance, Mr. Speaker? How can I convey to the President of the Board of Trade, without breaking the Rules of Order, that he ought to be committed to a lunatic asylum?