13. Mr. SANDEMAN
asked the President of the Board of Trade if he is aware that licences are required from the German Government to import certain classes of British machinery into Germany; that boards appointed to grant or refuse such licences are composed of German manufacturers of the same class of machinery, and require full specifications and blue-print drawings of the machinery proposed to be imported, and that German subjects requiring British machinery are referred to German manufacturers; that there is great delay, in some cases a year or more, in issuing these licences which may be granted, after every effort has been made to secure I the order for German manufacturers, and 1977 that British trade and employment are seriously injured; and what steps he proposes to take to secure fair treatment for the British machinery business with Germany?
I am aware of the restrictions referred to in the first part of the question, and that, as a rule, in considering applications for import licences for prohibited goods, the capacity of German manufacturers to supply the particular requirements are taken into account. The issue of licences for machinery has, I understand, been transferred to the Reichs Commissioner for Import and Export Licences, but I have no reason to suppose that this entails any essential modification of the import application formalities, or of the general principles on which licences are granted or refused. As regards the last part of the question, I would refer the hon. Member to the reply given on the 14th May to a question by the hon. Member for North-East Leeds, a copy of which I am sending him.