HC Deb 30 June 1949 vol 466 cc1499-500
26. Mr. Driberg

asked the President of the Board of Trade if he is aware that Messrs. Gamage of London are offering for sale electric washing machines, made in the United States of America, at £49 10s. each; how many such articles have been imported under licence at a cost of how many dollars; and why this expenditure of dollars was authorised.

Mr. H. Wilson

Yes, Sir. Licences have been granted during the last four years for the import from the United States of 735 domestic electrically-operated washing machines, for sale on the home market, at a total cost of 69,000 dollars c.i.f. The machines are imported under the token import arrangements of which the House is aware.

Mr. Driberg

While appreciating the point about token arrangements, may I ask my right hon. Friend how many such token imports there are, and do they not add up to quite a substantial sum altogether?

Mr. Wilson

Yes, Sir. It is difficult to justify any one of these individual imports. If my hon. Friend will put down a question about the token import system generally, I shall be glad to give him an answer.

Mr. Beswick

Does the whole of the token import go to one firm, and whose responsibility is it to make application for the token import?

Mr. Wilson

I shall be glad if my hon. Friend will put that question down.

Mr. Skeffington-Lodge

Is there not a risk that our own manufacturers might ultimately be adversely affected by reason of these token imports being allowed to continue?

Mr. Wilson

No, Sir. I do not think it is having that effect at all.