§ 66. Mr. ALAN TODD
asked the President of the Board of Trade whether his attention has been drawn to the fact that the retained imports of wire rods during the first quarter of 1934 amounted to 25,232 tons as compared with 8,422 tons in the corresponding quarter of 1933, an increase of 199.6 per cent.; and whether, in the circumstances, he will take immediate steps to protect the employment of British wire-rod makers?
§ Dr. BURGIN
I am aware of the fact to which my hon. Friend draws attention. Any question as to the duty payable on these goods is a matter for the Import Duties Advisory Committee in the first instance.
§ Mr. H. WILLIAMS
Can the hon. Gentleman say whether it is the case that the Government have entirely abrogated any responsibility for the level of tariffs in this country?
§ 57. Mr. TODD
asked the President of the Board of Trade whether his attention has been drawn to the fact that the retained imports of carpets in the first quarter of 1934 were 60 per cent. higher than in the first quarter of 1933; and whether he can give an estimate of the amount of employment to British carpet makers which this volume of imports represents?
§ Dr. BURGIN
I am aware of the increase in the retained imports of carpets to which my hon. Friend refers. While it is not possible to relate the figures of imports directly with the statistics of unemployment, I am informed that the number of insured persons in the carpet manufacturing industry recorded as unemployed on the 19th March was less than half the number so recorded a year ago.
§ Mr. L. SMITH
Seeing that the growth of the export trade must naturally be somewhat slow, is it not extremely important 480 that we should retain a larger proportion of our home trade?