HC Deb 12 February 1920 vol 125 c213
43. Mr. DOYLE

asked the Prime Minister whether, in view of the unsatisfactory position of the exchanges and of the continuous increase in the cost of the necessaries of life, which is becoming almost unbearable to a large and increasing proportion of the community, he can see his way to enforce a drastic reduction in the importation of luxuries?


In view of the recent judgment of Mr. Justice Sankey regarding the control of imports, the Government are not at present in a position to impose any restrictions on the importation of foreign goods. On the general question of trade policy I would refer my hon. Friend to the statement which I made in the House on August 18th. The prohibition of the import of luxuries would be a very difficult matter. There is no reason, moreover, to suppose that it would be a solution of the exchange problem. A recent analysis of imports from the United States of America showed that less than 2 per cent. of the imports could be classed as luxuries. The real remedy for the present position is the rapid increase of production both for home requirements and for export.