§ 40. Mr. Erroll
asked the Secretary for Overseas Trade, as representing the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, if he will take steps to permit the private importation of raw cotton as a preliminary to the reopening of the Liverpool Cotton Exchange.
§ The Secretary for Overseas Trade (Mr. Henry Hopkinson)
My right hon. Friend the President of the Board of Trade and my noble Friend the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster have invited the organisations on both sides of the industry concerned with the importation and use of raw cotton to appoint representatives to a small committee under the Chairmanship of Sir Richard Hopkins for the purpose of working out the best practicable scheme for the importation of raw cotton. This invitation has been accepted and the Committee is about to start work. The Government hope that in this way an enduring solution acceptable to all concerned will be found. I think all the interests concerned agree that the work of the Raw Cotton Commission must continue in order that supplies may be assured.
§ Mr. Erroll
While this committee is deliberating—and committees take a long time to deliberate—cannot a start be made in breaking down the monopoly in the importation of raw cotton?
§ Mr. Hopkinson
No, Sir. I do not think we would wish to do anything to prejudice the issues before the committee.
§ Mr. Harold Wilson
Will the Secretary for Overseas Trade make any estimate of the increase in cost of world cotton if we were to put into the world market, under the present arrangement, private buyers in competition with the Cotton Commission?