HC Deb 29 January 1934 vol 285 cc21-2

asked the President of the Board of Trade if he is now in a position to state what steps he proposes to take for the protection of the cotton industry from Japanese competition?


asked the President of the Board of Trade if he has taken any further steps to ameliorate the Eastern competition from which the cotton and rayon trades are suffering?

Lieut.-Colonel J. COLVILLE (Secretary, Overseas Trade Department)

The Government trust that it may prove possible for the question of Japanese competition in the cotton and rayon industries to be settled by negotiation between the industrialists of the two countries. As my hon. Friends are aware, arrangements are now being made for these discussions to commence on a formal basis and it is hoped that they may speedily be brought to a successful conclusion.


May I ask whether any time limit is being placed by the Government upon these negotiations?

Lieut.-Colonel COLVILLE

No, Sir, but everything that can properly be done to facilitate the discussions will be done.


Can my hon. and gallant Friend say whether the Japanese have now definitely agreed to include artificial silk within the ambit of the negotiations?

Lieut.-Colonel COLVILLE

We have made it perfectly plain that the discussions must include artificial silk, and I have no reason to believe that that will not be agreed to.


Has the hon. and gallant Member seen the statement made by Sir Harry McGowan regarding competition between this country and Japan, in which he states that the competition is due to Japan being more efficient than we are? Is there any truth in that statement? Do the Government agree with Sir Harry?

Lieut.-Colonel COLVILLE

I do not think that I am called on to answer that question.