HC Deb 19 April 1951 vol 486 cc1986-7
16. Mr. Nabarro

asked the President of the Board of Trade what groups and classes of goods for export he now proposes to discourage on account of their low conversion value; and what raw material content qualifies goods for inclusion in the group referred to as low conversion value.

Mr. H. Wilson

As I explained to the House on Monday last during the debate on the Budget proposals, there is no suggestion of a total ban on exports from the United Kingdom of semi-manufactured goods of low conversion value. But it is not possible in our present circumstances of raw material shortages to allow the shipment of large quantities of materials in raw or semi-fabricated form which are essential to our own industrial production. The factors to be borne in mind in fixing the conversion value will, obviously, vary from commodity to commodity and it is not possible to specify a figure for the raw material content likely to qualify any range of goods for export purposes.

Mr. Nabarro

Would not the right hon. Gentleman agree that the conversion value of exports or re-exports depends to a large degree upon the cost of the constituent raw materials? In view of his statement last Monday, which seemed to indicate a change of policy in regard to textile exports, can he amplify that statement?

Mr. Wilson

I agree that it should depend on both the cost and the scarcity of the materials. So far as textiles are concerned, we have to put in a certain figure for exports of yarn and we have not planned the textile exports on a conversion value basis. We have on non-ferrous metals.

Mr. Watkinson

Can the President give an undertaking that he will try to give information to the trade as early as possible on the position, which, I appreciate, must change from month to month, and as to what classes of semi-finished materials will be banned?

Mr. Wilson

Yes, Sir.