§ 5. Mr. Snow
asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he will introduce legislation, in order to encourage motor car exports, whereby a statutory maximum value limitation will be imposed on emoluments in cash, kind and property payable to the directors, managerial staff and their dependants of producing companies, on a scale permitting an increasing limitation proportionate to increased exports.
§ Mr. Snow
That Answer was not entirely unexpected, but is the President aware that I was trying to help him, as, in his own Board of Trade Journal, he and his Department are complaining that manufacturers are living on the "easy home market"? Is he further aware that it is of no use manufacturers complaining about being put out of competition because of high wages when the workers see what is going on in the B.S.A. Company, and see the "top hat" schemes in the City, whereby directors can retire on a pension of £¾ million at the company's expense?
§ Mr. Thorneycroft
I am sure that the hon. Gentleman's motives are unexceptionable, but I can imagine few methods which would do less to increase exports, and, indeed, which would cause very considerable confusion throughout all industry, than this one.
§ 10. Mr. Gresham Cooke
asked the President of the Board of Trade the percentage of exports of cars and commercial vehicles combined expressed as a percentage of production fox the first six months of 1956; and how that percentage compares with the export percentage of British industrial production generally.
§ Mr. P. Thorneycroft
Exports of cars and commercial vehicles by value were about 40 per cent. of production during the first five months of 1956, the latest period for which these figures are available. Exports of all manufacturing industry—excluding food, drink and tobacco—were a little under 30 per cent. of production in 1955, and the proportion exported 1124 during the first half of 1956 is estimated to be rather higher.
§ Mr. Gresham Cooke
As the exports of the motor industry are well above the average for British industry generally, would it not be a good idea if the attention of the House, after the Recess, were focused on those industries which are below the average? In particular, may I draw by right hon. Friend's attention to to the hosiery industry, the exports of which are about 13 per cent. of production?
§ Mr. Jay
While it might be interesting to have corresponding figures for 1951, may I ask the President if he read the article in the News Chronicle a few days ago, written by a well-known American journalist, which reported that it is difficult even now on the east coast of the United States to buy British motor cars? Has the right hon. Gentleman inquired into that?