HC Deb 21 April 1931 vol 251 cc779-80
24. Sir H. CROFT

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he has considered the resolution from the British Paper Packing Federation, representing the largest users of wrapping and packing papers, urging the continuance of the duty on imported packing and wrapping papers for a further period of 10 years; and whether, in view of the trade depression, he is prepared to recommend an extension of the period of Duty?


I received such a resolution from the British Paper Bag Federation last December; the answer to the second part of the question is in the negative.


Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that this association was originally opposed to the duty hut that they have been converted by the results, and that there is now a growing anxiety among all the workers in the industry that the Government will reconsider their decision?


I am not sure that I agree with the hon. and gallant Member as to the conversion, but the fact that their own commodities were protected may have had something to do with their action.


Has not the right hon. Gentleman received a protest from a large body of consumers against the huge burdens which these duties have placed upon them?


Various communications have reached me, but I could not say without notice whether there has been one on this particular subject. There are, however, constant representations as to the effect of these duties on prices.

29. Mr. ALBERY

asked the President of the Board of Trade the estimated increase in unemployment in the packing and wrapping paper trade as a result of the cessation of the import duty on 1st May?


It is not practicable to make a forecast as to the future course of employment in the industry in question but I cannot accept the hon. Member's implication.


Has the attention of the right hon. Gentleman been drawn to the report of the Amalgamated Society of Paper Makers and to the great concern expressed therein by the workers in the industry?


Can the right hon. Gentleman say whether there is any single industry which has been deprived of Safeguarding where there has not been an increase in unemployment?