§ 19. Mr. PEAT
asked the President of the Board of Trade what was the average value per month of the current year of the total imports included in No. 1 Order, 1931, Abnormal Importations (Customs Duties); what is the proportion this value bears to the total value of imports under Class III for the same period; and what was the value of the same imports, respectively, during the first and second 10-day periods of November?
§ The PRESIDENT of the BOARD of TRADE (Mr. Runciman)
I regret that it is not possible to furnish my hon. Friend with all the information he asks for in this question, but I hope to be able to put before the House adequate statistical information of the kind in question during the Debate on the Resolution which is down for next Friday.
§ 26. Mr. BERNAYS
asked the President of the Board of Trade whether it has been found necessary, following upon the passage of the Abnormal Importations 914 (Customs Duties) Act, to engage additional officials; and, if so, how many?
§ Mr. RUNCIMAN
As my hon. Friend informed the hon. Member for Gorbals last Wednesday, the passage of the Abnormal Importations (Customs Duties) Act has so far involved no increase in the staff of the Board of Trade.
§ Mr. HARRIS
What is the need, therefore, for the extra buildings for this purpose, if there is no staff to occupy them?
§ 32. Dr. SALTER
asked the President of the Board of Trade whether any drawback is granted from the duties imposed under the Abnormal Importations (Customs Duties) Act in the case of a firm importing wrapping paper and exporting the same in the form of made-up paper bags?
§ Mr. RUNCIMAN
I would refer the hon. Member to the answer given by the Parliamentary Secretary to the Board of Trade on Tuesday last to the question asked by my hon. Friend the Member for South-West Bethnal Green (Mr. Harris).
§ Mr. de ROTHSCHILD
Will the right hon. Gentleman consider the question of drawbacks for re-exports in connection with all the different goods in his schedules in order to safeguard the entrepôt business of this country?
§ Mr. HARRIS
Does the President of the Board of Trade realise that that does not cover goods in transit? This is a drawback.
§ 33. Vice-Admiral TAYLOR
asked the President of the Board of Trade whether it is his intention to continue to issue lists of tariffs under the Abnormal Importations (Customs Duties) Act during the Parliamentary Recess; and can he assure the House that no delay will be caused by lack of Customs officials?
§ Mr. RUNCIMAN
There is nothing in this Act which stands in the way of an Order being made at any time, if the 915 circumstances require it. I understand that the Customs do not anticipate any difficulty in the administration of further Orders owing to lack of staff.
§ 34. Mr. POTTER
asked the President of the Board of Trade whether, in view of the increasing amount of manufactured cotton goods and yarns coming into this country, he is prepared to consider the inclusion of these goods in the next list of imports upon which duties are to be levied, with a view to protecting the interests of the Lancashire cotton industry?
§ 35. Mr. DAVID GRENFELL
asked the President of the Board of Trade whether, in view of the increase in price of tinplate bars produced in South Wales, from £4 12s. 6d. to £5 a ton, which followed the abandonment of the Gold Standard, he will refrain from adding to the price of imported steel bars used for tinplate manufacture by the imposition of a duty?
§ 61. Miss PICKFORD
asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he will consider the imposition of a duty on women's wearing apparel made from woollen and worsted tissues, seeing that the duty already imposed on such tissues under the Abnormal Importations (Customs Duties) (No. 1) Order can be evaded by sending them in as made-up garments?
§ 65. Mr. M. W. BEAUMONT
asked the President of the Board of Trade if he is aware of the increased importations from abroad of tennis racquets, tennis racquet frames, and gut, which are sold in this country at below cost prices; and whether he will consider the desirability of a duty to protect British trade in these articles?
§ 68 and 69. Mr. HANNON
asked the President of the Board of Trade (1) whether his attention has been called to the quantities of made-up garments imported into this country, while at the same time numbers of persons engaged in this trade in Birmingham and Manchester are unemployed; and if he will take an early opportunity to bring the industry under the operation of the Abnormal Importations (Customs Duties) Act, 1931;
(2) whether he is aware that large consignments of foreign agricultural and garden tools have been brought into Bir- 916 mingham during the past week; and if he proposes to issue an Order under the Abnormal Importations (Customs Duties) Act in the interests of British manufacturers and workpeople engaged in this industry?
§ 75. Mr. LENNOX-BOYD
asked the President of the Board of Trade whether, in view of the fact that the rural industry of basket-making has been crippled by foreign competition, he will consider the advisability of imposing import duties on foreign baskets coming into England and so stimulate employment in agricultural areas?
§ 76. Mr. ANSTRUTHER-GRAY
asked the President of the Board of Trade if his attention has been called to the dissatisfaction of the paper-making trade that the new duty under the Abnormal Importations (Customs Duties) Act only applies to packing and wrapping paper; and whether he will consider the application of this duty to all paper, irrespective of weight, which is being imported into this country in abnormal quantities?
§ 80. Lieut.-Colonel Sir WALTER SMILES
asked the President of the Board of Trade whether seeing that the total number of square yards of cotton yarns and manufactures imported into the United Kingdom during the whole year 1921 was only 22,082,185 square yards and in the 10 months up to 31st October, 1931, 40,599,239 square yards, he will take immediate action under the Abnormal Importations (Customs Duties) Act, 1931?
§ 82. Mr. CROSS
asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he is aware that there have been curtailments by British buyers of deliveries of cotton blankets of British manufacture owing to the importation of foreign cotton blankets; and whether, in view of this, he will include these goods in an early Order under the Abnormal Importations (Customs Duties) Act, 1931?
§ Mr. RUNCIMAN
I would refer hon. Members to the reply given on the 25th November to the hon. Members for Barnstaple (Sir B. Peto), Ealing (Sir F. Sanderson) and South-East Leeds (Major Milner).
§ Mr. DOUGLAS HACKING
Will the right hon Gentleman be able to make a definite announcement with regard to the cotton trade before the House rises?
§ Sir JOHN HASLAM
Will the right hon. Gentleman tell us why Yorkshire in the woollen industry should have a preference over Lancashire seeing that Lancashire is so emphatic on this matter?
Sir NAIRNE STEWART SANDEMAN
Is the President of the Board of Trade aware that an answer a fortnight old is not good enough for Lancashire, and that Lancashire will insist on having an answer very soon?
§ 37. Colonel WEDGWOOD
asked the President of the Board of Trade on what grounds a dumping duty was imposed upon cardboard for boxes and cartons, seeing that such cardboard is the raw material of a considerable manufacturing and export industry; and will he consider the propriety of cancelling the 50 per cent. duty?
§ Mr. RUNCIMAN
A duty was imposed on certain packing and wrapping paper because goods of that class were being imported in abnormal quantities. Any representations regarding the effect of the duty will, of course, receive consideration.
§ Colonel WEDGWOOD
Can the right hon. Gentleman tell me why the manufacture of cardboard for boxes and cartons should he selected for a penalising tariff on their raw material, more particularly when that raw material cannot be supplied in adequate quantities?
§ Brigadier-General Sir HENRY CROFT
Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that only the Socialist party believe that this country is not capable of making these goods?
§ 59. Mr. FLANAGAN
asked the Financial Secretary to the Treasury whether, in view of the exemption given to overseas territories in respect of the operation of the Abnormal Importations (Customs Duties) Act, any special steps will be taken and, if so, of what nature to ensure that Foreign products are not imported through the Dominions or Colonies to this country; and, if so, what form of certificate of origin will be insisted on?
§ The FINANCIAL SECRETARY to the TREASURY (Major Elliot)
The exemp- 918 tion of Empire products from the duties in question will be subject to the same regulations as those which have been in force with slight modifications ever since the inception of Imperial Preference in 1919. They are set out in full in the notice of 1st February, 1926, to Importers in Great Britain and Northern Ireland and to Exporters in other parts of the British Empire, of which I am sending my hon. Friend a copy.
§ 67. Mr. HANNON
asked the President of the Board of Trade why valves, permanent magnets, and batteries have been excluded from the application of the 50 per cent. import duty applicable to wireless sets and component parts thereof; and if he intends to bring these articles under the next Abnormal Imports order to be issued by the Board?
§ Mr. RUNCIMAN
I would remind my hon. Friend that wireless valves and permanent magnets are already subject to duty under Part I of the Safeguarding of Industries Act, 1921, as amended by the Finance Act, 1926. For the rest, I would refer him to the reply given on Wednesday last to the hon. Members for Barnstaple (Sir B. Peto), Ealing (Sir F. Sanderson) and South-East Leeds (Major Milner).
71. Mr. VYVYAN ADAMS
asked the President of the Board of Trade if, and when, a second list of duties under the Abnormal Importations (Customs Duties) Act will be issued?
§ Mr. RUNCIMAN
As my hon. Friend is no doubt aware, the Abnormal Importations (Customs Duties) No. 2 Order was issued last night.