HC Deb 27 March 1928 vol 215 cc958-9
70. Colonel HOWARD-BURY

asked the Secretary to the Overseas Trade Department whether, in view of the fact that Great Britain in the year ending 30th June, 1927, had nearly half the trade in sterling value in motor chassis in Australia, and that from July to November these were only a trifle more than one-tenth in number as compared with American machines and not quite one-fourth in sterling value, he has any official information to account for this falling off in our exports?


I have been asked to reply. There was a considerable decline in the last six months of 1927 in the imports of motor chassis into Australia, but I regret that the fall in the British share of the trade appears to have been more immediate and more severe than in the case of the United States of America. I have no special information as to the causes of this recent falling off in our exports. My hon. and gallant Friend is doubtless aware that the whole question of the Australian market for motor cars has recently been explored by a mission sent out by the industry itself.


Is my hon. Friend aware that it is to a very great extent dependent on the horse-power tax, which prevents the building of a type of engine suitable for the Dominions?

Lieut. - Commander KENWORTHY

Does not the hon. Gentleman's answer knock the bottom out of the main argument for the McKenna Duties on motor cars?


I cannot see in what way it does that.

Lieut. - Commander KENWORTHY

It was going to increase our exports.


Since the motor industry is protected in the United States as well as in this country, I do not think there is anything in the point raised by the hon. and gallant Member for Central Hull (Lieut.-Commander Kenworthy). With regard to the other point, I think my hon. and gallant Friend's question should be addressed to a different Department.


Is it not the fact that American firms, owing to the enormous profits they have made during the last two or three years, can afford to dump motor cars into Australia and spend large amounts on publicity campaigns?

Lieut. - Commander KENWORTHY

Were not we told that the trade in motorcar chassis was to be increased as a result of the imposition of the McKenna Duties?