HC Deb 01 November 1937 vol 328 cc527-8
77. Mr. Levy

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether his attention has been drawn to the fact that in certain cases industries which have applied for tariff assistance from the Import Duties Advisory Committee, and which have been rejected, have endeavoured without success to find some other channel by which a measure of assistance in some other form could be given them, and that apparently no such channel exists; and whether he will introduce legislation to ensure that industries which should receive assistance are not debarred from doing so on account of a rejection by the Import Duties Advisory Committee?

The Financial Secretary to the Treasury (Lieut.-Colonel Colville)

My hon. Friend will find in the Debates on the Import Duties Act many reasons for the decision by Parliament that duties under that Act should be imposed only after consideration by an independent and impartial body. I see no reason to propose a departure from the principles which Parliament then laid clown. Other methods of giving assistance to industry have been adopted where such duties appear inappropriate; any proposals for such assistance are considered by the Government on the merits of the particular case.

Mr. Levy

Does that mean that the Government have abdicated all responsibility?

Lieut.-Colonel Colville

I am afraid my hon. Friend is not quite familiar with the working of the Import Duties Advisory Committee.

Mr. H. G. Williams

Am I to understand that the Government still have a responsibility for the level of the duties imposed?

Lieut.-Colonel Colville

Yes, Sir.

Mr. Williams

If that be so, what are they to do when the Import Duties Advisory Committee turn down an application?

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