HC Deb 16 February 1932 vol 261 cc1451-2
61. Captain P. MACDONALD

asked the Secretary to the Overseas Trade Department whether his attention has been called to the recent substantial drop in the export of British galvanised sheets to India, synchronising with an increase in the Belgian trade in such articles; and what steps, if any, he has taken to impress on British merchants in India the desirability of assisting British manufacturers in this matter?

Major COLVILLE (Secretary, Overseas Trade Department)

As the answer is a long one I will, with the hon. and gallant Member's permission, circulate it in the OFFICIAL REPORT.

Following is the answer:

The substantial and progressive decrease in the export from this country of galvanised sheets to India has for a considerable period engaged the attention both of the Department of Overseas Trade and of His Majesty's Senior Trade Commissioner in India. Whilst there is no reason for supposing that British merchants are not fully aware of the desirability of handling products of the United Kingdom, it will be understood that with the increasing stringency of economic and commercial conditions the price factor, which has assisted Belgium in its competition with this country, has proportionately increased in importance. In his recent annual report upon conditions and prospects of United Kingdom trade in India, His Majesty's Senior Trade Commissioner makes certain suggestions to United Kingdom manufacturers of these sheets, and both he and his colleagues in the Trade Commissioner Service in India are doing their best to encourage the sale of United Kingdom products in India both in this and in other lines of business.