HC Deb 14 November 1934 vol 293 cc1944-6
19. Mr. NORTH

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether in view of the increase of manufacturing industries in the Colonies and the recent decision reached by him with regard to the importation to this country of sisal goods manufactured in East Africa, he can state whether it is his intention, or not, in the future to adopt a policy of debarring from entry into the United Kingdom all goods manufactured by Native labour within the Colonial Empire?


No, Sir. I think it will be generally agreed that the great interest of the Colonies is to secure markets for their primary products. There can equally be no doubt of the great benefit of a preferential market in this country for Colonial products, and of a preferential market in the Colonies for British industries. And the complementary character of these mutual preferences is, I think, fully appreciated both here and in the Colonies. It is only in comparatively few cases that a conflict of interest arises; and in such cases I hope that the realisation of the importance of the general policy will lead to satisfactory agreements, as in the case to which my hon. Friend refers.


May I ask the right hon. Gentleman whether it is a fact that an agreement has been reached between the sisal producers in East Africa and the rope manufacturers in this country, and whether any question of a, future tariff is now contemplated?


An agreement completely satisfactory to the particular undertaking in Tanganyika and the consumers here has been reached, and I sincerely hope that the very cordial relations between the sisal producers in the whole of East Africa and the manufacturers in this country will continue.


Does the right hon. Gentlemen's answer also cover the question generally of the manufacture of rubber goods in British Malaya and Hong Kong?


Yes, Sir. I think it covers any case. It is of enormous importance that we should not have a conflict of interests and that we should get a reasonably fair business arrangement.


Will the right hon. Gentleman take the first opportunity of making known the general policy of the Government with regard to the primary producer in these Colonies?


I should have thought there was no doubt about that. The policy of His Majesty's Government has been frequently announced and, as carried out by preferential duties, it is to give a secured market in this country for the primary producers in the Colonies.

Forward to