HC Deb 02 May 1927 vol 205 cc1258-9

asked the Secretary of State for Dominion Affairs whether his attention has been drawn to the tariff recently imposed by Australia on British knitted underwear, changing the duty from 35 per cent. ad valorem to 30 per cent. ad valorem with an additional specific duty of 1s. on every garment of cotton and 2s. 6d. on every garment containing wool; and whether, seeing that this impost in many instances works out altogether at 50 per cent. to 100 per cent. and over and that similar tariffs are contemplated in Australia on other articles, he will make representations to the Australian Government on this matter?


The duties to which the hon. Member refers in the first part of his question are, I presume, those imposed by the Customs Tariff Act, 1926, of the Commonwealth of Australia, which came into force in July last year. As regards the second part of the question, His Majesty's Government communicated with the Commonwealth Government on behalf of the trades affected in this country when the duties in question were first announced, but the Commonwealth Government felt compelled to proceed with their proposals in the interests of the local industries affected.


In view of that position, does the right hon. Gentleman think that the posters showing a reciprocal trade in these matters are justified?


Yes, Sir; I think they are amply justified, and if the hon. Member will consider, not one or two specific items of trade, but the whole value of our trade with Australia and the extent to which it is due to the generous preference which Australia gives us, I think he will regard those posters as amply justified.


Has this question any practical value, seeing that Australia produces the wool?

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