§ 5. Mr. Shepherd
asked the President of the Board of Trade what representations he has received from the French Government to the effect that they are unwilling 2201 to allow freer import of British footwear into France owing to their objection to Purchase Tax on their products in the United Kingdom.
Mr. H. Wilson
The representations to which the hon. Member refers were made during a meeting of the Anglo-French Economic Committee, in response to a request we had made for an increase in the quota for our exports of leather footwear to France.
§ Mr. Shepherd
What is the right hon. Gentleman doing about it? Is he trying to do something with the Chancellor of the Exchequer, or is he sitting still and seeing all the exports of British footwear to France banned as a consequence?
No, Sir. The question is, of course, the extreme difficulty associated with the inclusion of imported footwear within our utility scheme. In view of the importance of that scheme in providing some assurance of the quality of the products and the methods of manufacture, there is very great difficulty in associating imports with it.
§ Mr. Shepherd
Why do we allow free importations of French shoes into this country, while our manufacturers are excluded from sending any footwear to France except under small token schemes?
I thought the hon. Member was protesting about the controls placed on importations into France from this country.
§ Mr. Erroll
Cannot shoes be imported under the utility scheme and, in that way, overcome the objections of France?
That is being examined, but we have to have assurances on quality and methods of manufacture associated with our own utility scheme for goods manufactured in this country.