§ 144. Mr. Nabarro
asked the Minister of Materials what quantities of Scandinavian plywood he proposes to licence for private import into the United Kingdom during six months ending 30th June, 1953; how this figure compares with the six months ending 31st December, 1952; when private importers are to be told 49W their quota levels for the six months ending 30th June, 1953; and why the announcement has been so long delayed.
§ Sir A. Salter
Private importers will be free to choose for 1953 between a number of countries including Scandinavia; the second part of the Question does not, therefore, arise. I hope private importers will know within a fortnight of the precise arrangements for 1953 imports of plywood. I regret the delay but it was desirable to spend time in getting the best arrangements acceptable to all interested parties in this country.
§ 145. Mr. Nabarro
asked the Minister of Materials whether he will give an estimate of the imports of softwoods during 1952, excluding pitwood and plywood; how this figure compares with 1951 imports; what is the approximate level of imports to be permitted in 1953; whether the stocks position continues to be satisfactory; and how far it will be necessary to continue softwoods licensing after 1st January, 1953.
§ Sir A. Salter
It is estimated that about 1,060,000 standards of softwood excluding pitwood and plywood will be imported in 1952. This compares with 1,752,045 standards imported in 1951. We have decided for 1953 to give our importers as much freedom as possible in negotiation with overseas sellers; it is expected that the continued limitation of consumption by licensing will avoid the need to impose any precise limit on total imports. Stocks continue to be satisfactory. As practically all our softwood comes from non-sterling countries, control of consumption will certainly be essential throughout 1953, and it will be strictly enforced.