54. Mr. PALMER
asked the Prime Minister whether his attention has been called to the fact that to the dumping of American and French tyres is attributed the dismissal of 800 workmen at the Wood-Milne Rubber Works, Leyland; that it is stated that the London market is so overflowing with foreign tyres that British manufacturers dare not speculate in making large quantities; and whether, in view of the urgency of the matter, he can give the House and the country an assurance that the Government's antidumping legislation, promised at the General Election, will be introduced without further delay?
§ The PARLIAMENTARY SECRETARY to the BOARD of TRADE (Mr. Bridgeman)
I have been asked to reply. I am aware of the statements which have appeared in the Press as to the works in question. The exportation of rubber tyres from the United Kingdom has, in the first five months of this year, exceeded in value the importation of tyres by approximately £600,000, whereas in the corresponding period of 1913 the imports exceeded the exports in value by about £470,000. In these circumstances I am not satisfied that the foreign importations are seriously affecting the industry, and in any event I am not aware of any evidence that foreign tyres are being dumped in this country. I am not in a position at present to make any statement as to the date on which any anti-dumping legislation will be introduced.
May I ask whether the promises of anti-dumping legislation were merely election promises?
May I respectfully put that question in exactly the same terms to the Leader of the House?
Can the right hon. Gentleman tell us the whereabouts of that locked box, which is supposed to contain a policy? Is it a fact—