HC Deb 06 November 1934 vol 293 cc806-9
28. Mr. HALES

asked the President of the Board of Trade how many motor cars were exported from Great Britain to the United States from 1st March to 30th September, 1933, and from 1st March to 30th September, 1934; and how many motor cars were exported from the United States to Great Britain for the same periods?


As the answer involves a number of figures I will circulate it in the OFFICIAL REPORT.

Following is the answer:

The following table shows the number of motor cars and chassis imported into and exported from the United Kingdom and registered during the seven months March to September, 1933 and 1934, respectively, as consigned from and to the United States:
Motor Cars and Chassis. Total imports into the United Kingdom consigned from the United States. Exports from the United Kingdom consigned to the United States.
Manufacture of the United Kingdom. Imported Vehicles, etc.
March to September.
1933. 1934. 1933. 1934. 1933. 1934.
No. No. No. No. No. No.
Private cars (including cabs) new (a) 703 5,009 13 3 1 1
Commercial vehicles (including motor omnibuses, motor fire engines and motor ambulances, but not including tractors) new (a). 5 23 1
Private cars and commercial vehicles, second-hand. (b) 28 (b) 4 (b) 2
Chassis for motor cars, etc., with engines:
Constructed solely for commercial use 122 944
Other 276 414 10
Chassis for motor cars, etc., without engines. 60 48
(a) Included second-hand cars prior to 1934.
(b) Not separately recorded prior to 1934.

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he is aware that since the decision to reduce the horse-power tax on motor cars in this country the importation of high horsepower ears from America has increased, and that such imports have been valued at £763,659 for the first nine months of this year as against £172,870 for a similar period in 1933; and whether he will now consider taking steps to limit this tax concession to cars of British origin?


asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether his attention has been drawn to the fact that the number of new private motor cars imported in the first nine months of this year was 8,255, as compared with 3,010 in the same period of last year, and 1,945 in the same period, 1932; and what action he proposes to take?

54. Mr. HALES

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he is aware of the great increase in the number of imported motor cars into this country in consequence of the recent reduction of the horse-power tax; and will he give his consideration to restricting the reduced tax to motor cars manufactured only in Great Britain?


I am aware of the facts and figures to which my hon. Friends refer. My right hon. Friend fears that the suggestion made as regards the horse-power tax by the hon. Members for Bradford East (Mr. Hepworth) and Hanley (Mr. Hales) is not one that he could accept. Differentiation in respect of these duties, besides being impracticable for licensing authorities, would conflict with the clear intention of many of our commercial treaties which preclude us (as they also do foreign countries in respect of our goods) from differentiating in our internal duties between home products and similar foreign products. The import duty on motor cars, in common with other Budget duties, will come up for review before the next Budget in the ordinary course. I would, however, point out that it is already at the rate of 33⅓ per cent. ad valorem.


Will the hon. Gentleman bear in mind the enormous profits which have been made by the motor car industry this year, and which do not seem to indicate that the industry is suffering very severely from foreign competition?


May I ask whether some of the increased importation is not due to manipulation by the United States of the value of the dollar?


Was not the tax reduced for the benefit of the motor industry in Great Britain, and having regard to the fact that the results have been exactly the opposite, is not a revision of this tax necessary?