§ 53. Mr. Swingler
asked the President of the Board of Trade why firms applying for licences to import goods from China are now being informed that these are being allocated on the basis of past trade, and not on a basis allowing for a substantial increase in trade in accordance with the recent Government announcement.
§ Mr. Erroll
The new quotas, which affect only one-quarter of our imports from China, have in general been fixed substantially higher than the level of previous trade. In granting licences priority has been given to firms with a record of past trade or who had placed firm contracts before the new arrangements were announced Applications have been refused or licences scaled down only where the quota has been filled or where applicants have made unrealistically high bids. Licences have been issued to newcomers wherever it has been possible to provide for them within the quotas.