HC Deb 01 March 1917 vol 90 cc2136-7
40. Mr. WATT

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether his attention has been called to the manner in which the import restrictions section of his Department grant licences for the importa- tion of articles; whether he is aware that dissatisfaction exists among traders with the methods of this Department, as they find that one of their number gets licences while others do not for the same class of stuff, without any explanation of the different treatment being vouchsafed; and will he see that in future some system is adopted in that Department?


Considering the difficulties both of administration and of interpretation under which the Department of Import Restrictions has been working under great pressure during a period of nearly a year, I am glad to say that there has been a remarkable absence of complaint of the work done by that Department. If the hon. Gentleman will furnish me with specific examples of inequality of treatment as between one manufacturer and another I shall be happy to look into the matter.


Would the hon. Gentleman consider the advisability of appointing committees of the various trades affected —Committees appointed by his Department and not by the Controller—to consider the questions arising out of the import restrictions?


I will consider the suggestion.


Would the hon. Gentleman like to consider that the remarkable absence of complaints is due to the general feeling that there is no use complaining?

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