The economic background to the period in which the merger took place was a complex one and there were special considerations relating to the position of several of the main lead products. The lead manufacturing industry in the inter-war years; price fluctuations, lead supply, output of particular products, overseas markets, the re-establishment of both home and international conventions in white, red and blue lead products, and the problems faced in working them. White lead was historically the most significant lead product in international trade and it was a mainstay for all the large lead manufacturing companies. Negotiations for cartels therefore came first in white lead and once these had been provisionally agreed the participants turned their attention to red lead, which was primarily the product about which the Lead Oxide Conventions were concerned. Most of the production of paint had been undertaken by the white lead grinders and by painters themselves, mixing their own paints from dry white lead.