§ 3. Captain. Sir William Brass
asked the President of the Board of Trade whether, in view of the increasing quantities of Indian cotton goods imported into the Dominions and Colonies where they enter under the same terms as exports from the United Kingdom, he will consider asking the Government of India for a reduction of the 20 per cent. Import Duty into India in order that Lancashire manufacturers may trade on equal terms in India as in other parts of the British Empire?
While Indian goods enter the Colonies on equal terms with United Kingdom goods, this is not the case in all the Dominions. India's trade with the Dominions in cotton piece goods is small and her trade in such goods with the Colonies, although it has increased, is still very much less than that of the United Kingdom. As I have previously indicated, the position in Empire markets is being kept in mind in the negotiations between the United Kingdom and India, and one of the major objects in those negotiations is a satisfactory settlement in regard to the United Kingdom trade with India in cotton goods.
§ Sir W. Brass
Will my right hon. Friend bear in mind the very serious position in Lancashire at the present time, where the depression is worse than it has been for many years, and where the most important market of all is the Indian market?
Yes, it is for that reason that I say that a satisfactory settlement in regard to these cotton goods is one of the major objectives of these negotiations.
§ 4. Sir W. Brass
asked the President of the Board of Trade whether his attention has been called to the growing imports of Indian cotton goods into Ceylon since 1936, and to the declining imports from the United Kingdom into that country during the same period; and whether, in 1961 view of this position, he will consider some modification of the present trade policy?
I am aware that imports of cotton piece goods from the United Kingdom into Ceylon have declined since 1936. Imports from India were greater in 1937 than in 1936, but in the first five months of this year they were smaller than in the corresponding period of the two previous years. I can assure my hon. and gallant Friend that these facts will be given due weight in considering the trade policy of the United Kingdom.
§ Sir W. Brass
Does my right hon. Friend realise that the real problem in Lancashire is that they are frightened of the trend, which is for their trade to be taken by other countries such as India, and will he bear that in mind?
§ 14. Mr. Tomlinson
asked the President of the Board of Trade whether his attention has been called to the new export plans of the Japanese Government in relation to the cotton industry; and will he take such steps as are necessary to protect the Lancashire cotton industry against this new development?
Yes, Sir. I have been informed of an announcement by the Japanese Government on the subject, but particulars are not yet available. As soon as details are received, I will consider whether any steps are called for on the part of His Majesty's Government.
§ Mr. Tomlinson
Is the right hon. Gentleman aware of the very great concern felt in Lancashire in view of the inroads which are being made into the home market? We have pretty well lost the foreign market and the home market is in danger now, and will he take the necessary steps to safeguard it?
I would remind the hon. Member and the industry that it is open to them at any time to apply to the Import Duties Advisory Committee for an increase in the duties.
§ Mr. Burke
Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that Japanese shirts are coming into this country at 9s. 2d. per dozen, which is less than the price of making-up such shirts in this country, 1962 and that it is not merely the quantity of Japanese goods coming in that causes concern, but that the price of them sets the price for the home market?
That is just one of the facts which might very well be brought to the notice of the Import Duties Advisory Committee.
§ 20. Mr. Hamilton Kerr
asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he is aware that the exports of cotton yarn to Sweden, Norway, Denmark and the Netherlands for the first five months of this year are approximately half the amount of such exports for the first five months of 1937; and whether he is satisfied with the working of the trade agreements with those countries in this respect?
The answer to the first part of the question is in the affirmative. With regard to the second part, I am advised that the reduction in exports of cotton yarns from the United Kingdom to the countries referred to by my hon. Friend is due mainly to a general slackening of demand in those markets.
Yes, Sir, but I do not think that in any of these instances it is a case of our share of the trade being taken by others, but of a general falling off in demand in those countries, and, unfortunately, in many other countries as well.
§ 21. Mr. Kerr
asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he can provide figures showing the value and volume of cotton exports from this country to each of those countries with which 1963 trade agreements have been concluded for the year preceding the date of the agreement and for 1937, respectively?
As the answer involves a table of figures, I will, with my hon. Friend's permission, circulate it in the OFFICIAL REPORT.
|Country to which Consigned||Date on which each Agreement came into force||year||Quantity of cotton piece goods.||Total value of cotton yarns and manufactures (excluding apparel and embroidery).|
|Thousand Square years.||£000.|
|Germany||…||8th May, 1933||…||1932||28,070||3,264|
|1st November, 1934||…||1937||31,303||3,604|
|Denmark||…||20th June, 1933||…||1932||34,791||1,263|
|20th June, 1936||…||1937||49,549||1,890|
|Iceland||…||28th June, 1933||…||I932||547||24|
|Norway||…||7th July, 1933||…||1932||17,792||869|
|Sweden||…||7th July, 1933||…||1932||19,877||1,064|
|Argentine Republic||…||8th November, 1933||…||1932||115,983||3,299|
|23rd November, 1933||…||1937||127,021||4,460|
|20th November, 1936||…|
|Finland||…||23rd November, 1933||…||1932||2,613||217|
|Soviet Union||…||21st March, 1934||…||1933||23||1|
|France||…||1st July, 1934||…||1933||4,119||351|
|Netherlands||…||1st August, 1934||…||1933||23,098||1,426|
|Lithuania||…||12th August, 1934||…||1933||2,462||161|
|Estonia||…||8th September, 1934||…||1933||49||13|
|Latvia||…||12th October, 1934||…||1933||2,726||105|
|Poland||…||14th March, 1935||…||1934||1771||238|
|Turkey||…||20th June, 1935||…|
|17th September, 1936||…||1934||13,914||349|
|1st July, 1938||…||1937||15,391||388|
|Uruguay||…||3rd February, 1936||…||1935||11,202||404|
|Peru||…||9th October, 1936||…||1935||7,152||225|
|Italy||…||16th November, 1936||1935||2,249||92|
|28th March, 1938||…||1937||2,343||58|
|Yugoslavia||…||1st January, 1937||…||1936||3,652||307|