§ 3. Mr. H. WILLIAMS
asked the President of the Board of Trade, whether his attention has been drawn to the fact that the imports of iron and steel in the first ten months of this year have aggregated £7,719,837, an increase of £2,815,439 on the same period of last year; and what steps he proposes to take to secure for British workers the employment represented by this importation?
§ The PARLIAMENTARY SECRETARY to the BOARD of TRADE (Dr. Burgin)
I am aware of the increased imports to which my hon. Friend refers. With regard to the second part of the question I would refer to the reply which I gave to him and other hon. Members on the 31st, July. I should like to add that the value of our exports of these goods in the first ten months of this year was £4,293,509 greater than in the corresponding period of last year.
§ Mr. WILLIAMS
As the exports go to different countries from those from which these imports come, can the hon. Member tell me what relevance his figures have to the question?
§ Dr. BURGIN
They have an immense relevance. The hon. Member's question appears to assume that the iron and steel goods imported are fully manufactured. That is not the case. A great many of them are processed in this country and provide employment here, and the fact that on balance there is a large increase in exports over imports is a justification of the policy.
§ Mr. WILLIAMS
Can the hon. Member say which of the imports that are processed in this country cannot be produced in this country, other than a certain amount of charcoaled iron and steel?
§ Mr. MANDER
Is there not some way of preventing these continuous attacks on the Government by the hon. Member?