HC Deb 21 January 1924 vol 169 cc488-90
21. Sir W. de FRECE

asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Overseas Trade Department whether he has received from his representatives abroad any explanation, and, if so, of what nature, regarding the serious reduction of cotton exports during 1923?

Viscount WOLMER

As between 1923 and 1922 there was not a serious reduction in cotton exports from the United Kingdom except in the case of yarns, but as between both years and the period immediately preceding the War the falling-off in the exports both of cotton yarns and of piece goods has been considerable. This decline appears to be due to two main causes—

  1. (1) The price of cotton goods, which is still higher than many of our customers can afford to pay, and
  2. (2) The unsettled political conditions which are prevalent in some of our important markets.

THE FOLLOWING STATEMENT shows the registered Quantities and Values of the Articles specified, affected by preferential proposals recommended by the recent Imperial Conference, imported into the United Kingdom during the year 1923, which were consigned from Foreign Countries and from British Dominions and Possessions* respectively:—
Articles. Unit of Quantity. Foreign Countries. British Dominions and Possessions.*
Articles. Unit of Quantity. Quantities. Value. Quantities. Value.
Canned Fish (including shellfish): £ £
Salmon Cwts. 398,407 2,041,746 107,559 613,984
Lobsters Cwts. 1,013 17,488 28,907 484,453
Raw Apples Cwts. 3,589,310 4,105,857 2,884,147 3,292,472
Fruits, not Liable to Duty as such, Preserved without sugar: Cwts.
Canned or Bottled Cwts. 239,502 355,584 38,127 70,407
Other than canned or bottled Cwts. 374,673 392,787 4,548 4,133
Dried Fruit, dutiable: Cwts.
Currants Cwts. 1,432,627 3,747,121 94,675 293,776
Figs Cwts. 207,037 410,185 24 67
Plums, prunesand prunelloes Cwts. 377,750 920,193 21,494 102,065
Raisins Cwts. 858,734 2,487,755 281,155 987,584
Fruit, Preserved in Sugar, tinned or Bottled in Syrup: Cwts.
Pineapples Cwts. 36,035 119,826 373,441 729,976
Other sortst† Cwts. 868,471 2,532,946 65,509 170,098
James Marmalade, and Fruit Jellies.† Cwts. 1,179 4,564 1,833 6,271
Lemon and Lime Juice Gallons 115,709 9,736 425,276 61,986
Honey Cwts. 29,616 70,280 26,182 75,333
In addition, preferential arrangements were recommended in respect of Canned Cray Fish and Crabs and of certain varieties of Dried Fruit (e.g. Apples, Pears and Peaches), exact particulars of imports of which during 1923 are not available. Increased preferences were also recommended in respect of Wines above 30° in strength, of Sparkling Wines and of Tobacco.
From 1st April, 1923, this Return includes the trade of Great Britain and Northern Ireland with the Irish Free State. From the same date, the direct foreign trade of the Irish Free State is excluded from this Return.
* Including Protectorates and Mandated Territories.
† The figures include certain quantities of Preserved Fruit and of Jams, etc., not covered by the preferential proposals.

These causes are frequently referred to in reports from the overseas officers of the Department of Overseas Trade.