HC Deb 05 July 1951 vol 489 cc2485-6
38. Mr. H. Hynd

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he is aware that merchants are importing foreign cloth which they can sell at a higher price than British cloth although it is of inferior quality; and whether he will arrange for a check on quality by issuing an import licence for each consignment.

The Parliamentary Secretary to the Board of Trade (Mr. Rhodes)

In accordance with His Majesty's Government's trade liberalisation policy, most cloth (other than silk or cashmere cloth), in common with many other classes of goods, can now be imported under open general licence from many countries. I would remind my hon. Friend that import restrictions in general can be justified only if they are required to safeguard our balance of payments, and we are not prepared to reintroduce import licensing of individual consignments for the purpose which he has in mind.

Mr. Hynd

As there appears to be no contradiction of the facts outlined in my Question and there appears to be a prima faciecase of discrimination against British cloth manufacturers, would my hon. Friend receive a deputation on the question.

Mr. Rhodes

Yes, Sir, I would.