HC Deb 22 April 1948 vol 449 cc1979-80
7. Mr. George Ward

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he will remove the restrictions at present imposed upon the glove trade in the designs of utility gloves for the home market, in order to encourage the consumer to choose British made gloves rather than imported gloves which offer a larger range of styles.

The President of the Board of Trade (Mr. Harold Wilson)

I am ready to consider any proposals from the glove trade which will remove restrictions from the utility glove specifications without causing an increase in prices. Meanwhile, non-utility glove production for the home market allows complete freedom in design, and is greater in quantity than our glove imports.

Mr. Ward

Is not the President of the Board of Trade aware that a very much larger range of design is possible without using any more leather? Will he give an assurance that he will look into this matter in order to remove this quite unnecessary handicap upon British producers?

Mr. Wilson

I have already said that I will consider any proposals from the trade for the removal of these restrictions.

8. Mr. Ward

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he will increase supplies of leather to the British glove industry instead of importing Czechoslovakian finished gloves, in order to enable the industry to meet increasing foreign competition in overseas markets by expanding and thus reducing the price of British made gloves.

Mr. H. Wilson

No, Sir. More leather gloves were produced for the home market in 1947 than before the war, and I cannot undertake at present to increase our imports of gloving skins. Imports of gloves from Czechoslovakia have been arriving at a rate of only one-eighth of the prewar rate of quantity.