HC Deb 20 December 1934 vol 296 cc1311-2
66. Major MILLS

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether His Majesty's Government will enter into negotiations with the Governments of the Dominions to ensure that manufactured goods sent to Great Britain from each such Dominion in order to qualify for Empire preference shall have the maximum of work done on them within the Empire, bearing in mind particularly the Canadian corridor and goods manufactured in Canada in connection with the motor industry?


A resolution adopted at the Imperial Economic Conference at Ottawa recommended each Government of the Empire, when deciding what standard of Empire content it should require, to bear in mind that a greater degree of uniformity is desirable, and that the standard adopted should not be such as to defeat or frustrate the intention of the preferential rate of duty conceded to any class of goods. With these considerations in mind, the Board of Trade made regulations in January, 1933, increasing the standard of Empire content for various classes of goods, including motor cars, to 50 per cent. The same standard is applicable to motor cars in Canada. In those circumstances, I see no reason for re-opening the question in the manner proposed.


Is my right hon. Friend satisfied that, in practice, the cars which come here from Canada have the requisite amount of Empire material and workmanship in them, and that we do not get American cars in the guise of Canadian cars?


The intention of the law is that the origin of motor cars as well as other goods should be specified in the declaration, and if there is a false declaration it would render the importer liable.


Has the right hon. Gentleman been good enough to look at the information sent to him as to motor cars coming from the United States through Canada to this country?


My hon. Friend asked a question on this subject on 12th July, and with that information before us he was given what I thought was a sufficient reply.


It was not very satisfactory.