HC Deb 22 July 1924 vol 176 cc1090-1
6. Lieut.- Commander KENWORTHY

asked the President of the Board of Trade what articles are now taxed on import under the Safeguarding of Industries Act on the ground that they come from countries with depreciated currencies; to which countries these duties now apply; if he is aware that in the case of two countries, namely, Poland and Germany, which have had a very depreciated currency, a currency has been introduced which is nearer par than the British pound at the present moment; and whether steps are being taken to repeal this part of the Act?


Before the right hon. Gentleman answers this question, can he say whether, if the currencies of Germany and Poland are no longer depreciated, the provisions of the Safeguarding of Industries Act in this connection apply at all?


I am sorry I do not feel able to reply to that question without notice. With regard to the question on the Paper, the information asked for by the hon. and gallant Member in the first two parts of the question was given to him in my answer to the question which he put on the 1st July, a copy of which I am sending him. As he was then informed, the provisions of the Safeguarding of Industries Act, so far as they relate to imports from countries with depreciated currencies, will automatically cease to be operative or, the 19th August next.


Is there any real relationship between the new currency in Germany and the cost of production?


Do the Government intend to persist in dropping this Act, in spite of any unemployment which their action may create?

Lieut.-Commander KENWORTHY

Is it not a fact that these duties have caused a great deal of unemployment in this country?