HC Deb 16 November 1931 vol 259 cc488-9
38. Mr. THORNE

asked the President of the Board of Trade if he can state the amount of tonnage of imports into the United Kingdom for the months of October, 1929, October, 1930, and October, 1931?


I regret that I am not in a position to give the hon. Member the information which he desires, as imports of commodities are in many cases not recorded by weight, but by the customary trade unit or by value only.

40. Brigadier - General Sir HENRY CROFT

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he can give details of imports in October, 1930, compared to October, 1931, and also for the first 10 days of November, 1930, and 1931, at all ports or, if not, at any of the principal ports?


As the answer contains a table of figures I will, with my hon. and gallant Friend's permission, circulate it in the OFFICIAL REPORT.


Is it a fact that during October the imports of manufactures into this country were for the first time in history in excess of the exports of all descriptions?


If my hon. and gallant Friend will look at the figures he will be able to draw his own conclusions.

Following is the answer:

Detailed information as to the imports recorded for the month of October, together with corresponding figures for the same periods of the two preceding years are contained in the latest issue of the Monthly Accounts relating to Trade and Navigation. Summary statistics of the gross imports of certain main classes of imports recorded during the 10 working days following the period to which those Accounts relate, have been specially compiled, and are given below. Corresponding data for 1930 are not available. With regard to these figures I must point out that import figures for so short a period are liable to give a misleading impression as to the course of trade.

Articles wholly or mainly manufactured.
Group Period ended 10th Nov., 1931*
A. Coke and Manufactured Fuel 2,812
B. Pottery, Glass, Abrasives, &c. 566,965
C. Iron and Steel and Manufactures thereof 1,182,832
D. Non-Ferrous Metals and Manufactures thereof 1,012,921
E. Cutlery, Hardware, Implements and Instruments 467,891
F. Electrical Goods and Apparatus 499,739
G. Machinery 861,781
H Manufactures of Wood and Timber 330,439
I. Cotton Yarns and Manufactures 532,008
J. Woollen and Worsted Yarns and Manufactures 833,917
K Silk and Silk Manufactures 265,817
L. Manufactures of other Textile Materials 755,102
M Apparel 960,555
N. Chemicals, Drugs, Dyes and Colours 895,399
0. Oils, Fats and Resins, Manufactured 1,255,589
P. Leather and Manufactures thereof 792,431
Q. Paper and Cardboard 989,269
R. Vehicles (including Locomotives, Ships and Aircraft) 155,154
S. Rubber Manufactures 170,885
T. Miscellaneous Articles wholly or Mainly Manufactured 1,626,867
Total £14,158,373
* Covering the ten working days following the period included in the October Returns.

asked the Prime Minister whether, with a view to checking the present increase of foreign imports, he will consider making an announcement to the effect that any duties imposed as a result of the present inquiries being conducted by the Cabinet Committee will be retrospective?


The objections to the course suggested by my hon. Friend are insuperable.