HC Deb 16 December 1952 vol 509 cc1180-1
22. Mr. Simmons

asked the President of the Board of Trade if he is aware of the difficulties experienced by the handmade cut-glass trade as a result of embargoes on imports imposed by Canada and Australia; why he allows those difficulties to be aggravated by imports of table glassware from Czechoslovakia and other sources; and what action he proposes to take to assist the hand-made cut-glass trade.

Mr. H. Strauss

No embargo has been imposed by Canada, but I am aware of the difficulties which this industry has had to face since import restrictions were imposed in Australia earlier this year and of the efforts it has made to maintain both production and exports. The Board of Trade have already granted additional home trade licences for glassware specially prepared for the Australian market. Imports of cut, engraved and etched domestic glassware are not at present being allowed. Imports of other domestic glassware have fallen considerably this year as compared with last year.

Lieut.-Colonel Lipton

Is not this just one more example of what happens when we abandon the principle of applying controls whenever necessary? Will the Minister reconsider the imposition of controls in this respect, in respect of carpets and in respect of a number of other matters which have already been mentioned today?

Mr. Strauss

Every one of the hon. and gallant Gentleman's deductions is incorrect.

Mr. Bottomley

Can the Minister hold out any hope of increased exports to Australia as a result of the Commonwealth Conference?

Mr. Strauss

That is another question.