HC Deb 03 June 1930 vol 239 cc1936-7

asked the Lord Privy Seal if he is aware of the large increase in the quantity of foreign electrical goods and apparatus imported into this country during the last year; and if he will consider what steps can be taken to encourage a greater use of British appliances in the market that has been created by the Central Electricity Board?

The LORD PRIVY SEAL (Mr. J. H. Thomas)

Yes, Sir. I am a ware of the increase to which the hon. and gallant Member refers. It is in the main due to increased imports of the smaller type of appliance bought by the private user of electricity and wireless. The desirability of giving preference to British goods subject to reasonable price relationship has already been brought to general notice, and I trust that the British manufacturers and distributors will be alive to the importance of this new and expanding market.


Does not the Lord Privy Seal consider that it is a serious matter that this market which has been created largely by the work of the Central Electricity Board, should be captured by foreign manufacturers, and can he consider taking any other steps which might help?


The difference last year as compared with the previous year was approximately 2 per cent. It is true that the work of the Central Electricity Board has created a demand, and it is equally true that the Central Electricity Board have given all their contracts to British firms, as I have already said. In addition to that, I have drawn attention of the manufacturers to the importance of their taking advantage of the appetite which I created.


Is it not the case that British electrical appliances are the finest in the world?


Is the Lord Privy Seal aware that there will be a similar influx of imported lace when the duty is taken off that article?