HC Deb 31 May 1938 vol 336 cc1804-6
19. Mr. Lyons

asked the President of the Board of Trade the values under Section 15 (1) of the Imports Duties Act, 1932, of each category of Opel motor cars offered for sale in this country; the rate of duty paid in respect of each such motor car; its selling price in this country, together with its selling price in terms of sterling in its country of origin; and the largest numbers imported into this country at any one date and during any one month, respectively?

Mr. Stanley

With regard to the first part of the question, I would refer my hon. and learned Friend to the answer given on 26th May by my right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer to the hon. Member for North Lambeth (Mr. G. Strauss). The rate of duty chargeable on motor cars consigned from Germany on importation into this country is 33⅓ per cent. ad valorem. I understand that the retail prices of the three models of Opel cars in the United Kingdom are £135, £149 10s. and £180 respectively. The coresponding prices in Germany are 1,795 marks, 2,100 marks and 2,675 marks. The factor which should be employed for converting marks into sterling is a matter of opinion, but if the conversion is made at the old par rate of exchange, namely, 20.43 marks to the £, the sterling equivalent to the German prices would be £87 17S., £ 102 15s. and £130 18s. respectively. With regard to the last part of the question, I have already explained, in reply to questions by the hon. Members for Newport (Sir R. Clarry) and Macclesfield (Mr. Remer), that the Trade Returns of the United Kingdom do not distinguish individual makes of motor cars imported.

Mr. Lyons

Is it not a fact that this represents a notorious case of dumping goods into this country to the great jeopardy of the motor car trade here; and will my right hon. Friend take steps to see that there is some reasonable protection for the home industry against this kind of dumping?

Mr. C. S. Taylor

Is my right hon. Friend aware that this is only one case of dumped goods which are competing very unfairly with home manufactures?

Mr. Stanley

On the general point, I have answered a number of questions, but I would point out that in April of this year the importation of these cars had fallen to practically nothing.

Mr. Lyons

Is that not simply because the dumping ground at Southampton is unable to accommodate any more until a new place has been built for their reception?

Mr. Stanley

That is not my information.

Sir Frank Sanderson

Will my right hon. Friend give consideration to the increased amount of manufactured goods now being imported into this country, which could be manufactured at home?

Mr. Stanley

The matter is constantly under attention.

Mr. George Griffiths

Will the Minister find out who are these unemployed people who are buying these motor cars?

Mr. Mander

Is it not disgraceful that any goods should be imported at all?