HC Deb 23 November 1950 vol 481 cc497-8
38. Mr. Russell

asked the President of the Board of Trade if he is satisfied that the customs duty on pencils imported from foreign countries is high enough to protect our home manufacturers from unfair foreign competition.

Mr. H. Wilson

I have no evidence of unfair foreign competition in the matter of pencil imports, and I do not think, therefore, that this question arises at present. If the hon. Member has any evidence which he would care to submit, however. I should be glad to consider it.

Mr. Russell

Would the right hon. Gentleman consider having the figures of imports of pencils published in the Trade and Navigation Accounts, for they are not given separately at the present moment?

Mr. Wilson

I have looked into the question of pencil imports. Of course, by far the larger share in the increase comes not from foreign countries but from Commonwealth countries. I am sure the hon. Gentleman would not want me to take action about that.