§ 59. Mr. ATKEY
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether the only means of dealing with the adverse exchange is by reducing imports of articles of luxury; if so, whether he is aware that the value of imported embroidery in 1916 was over £3,000,000 sterling, and that the Board of Trade have just increased the ration So as to permit importation of a like amount for the current year; and whether he is aware that this is not only causing unemployment in Nottingham but adversely affecting exchange?
§ Mr. BRIDGEMAN.
My right hon. Friend has asked me to reply. Reduction of the import of luxuries is certainly one method but not the only one of dealing with adverse exchanges. Moreover a great quantity of this embroidery is made into apparel in this country and exported, thus affording a considerable amount of employment. Whilst the figure given as to the import of embroidery is roughly accurate, it is not correct to say that the ration has lately been increased so as to permit an equal amount to be imported now. On the contrary, as I pointed out to the hon. Member in a previous answer, having regard to the large rise in value, the quantity now permitted to be imported is rather less than half the quantity imported in 1916. I am not aware that this adjustment of the ration has caused unemployment.
§ Captain W. BENN
If the material is used for re-export why does the Board of Trade prevent its import?