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Nylon Production

Volume 485: debated on Thursday 22 March 1951

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asked the President of the Board of Trade to what extent he estimates that difficulties in the supply of sulphur will lead to a decline in output of nylon yarn in the United Kingdom; and whether he anticipates any diminution of supply of nylon stockings for the home market during the year 1951.

Nylon production depends directly on the supply of nylon polymer. Sulphur and sulphuric acid are used for making some of the chemicals which go into the manufacture of nylon polymer, but the quantities are not large, and I understand that it is unlikely that production will have to be reduced owing to shortage of sulphur. As regards nylon stockings, I said in answer to a Question by my hon. Friend the Member for Leicester, North-West (Mr. Janner), on 1st March that I could see no prospect of increasing supplies further for some time to come, but I hope that it will not be necessary to reduce supplies to the home market.

As the shortage of sulphur may lead to a serious diminution in the output of rayon stockings, will the right hon. Gentleman consider making good the deficiency by diverting additional supplies of nylon stockings to the home market?

I thought that the hon. Gentleman, and, indeed, all hon. Members opposite, had accepted the vital necessity in the present economic situation, of increasing our exports. In the circumstances, therefore, however desirable it might be to have more supplies for the home market, I am sure he would not press for any diminution of an important export programme.