HC Deb 03 July 1952 vol 503 cc600-1
14. Mr. Nabarro

asked the President of the Board of Trade the extent and value of the quota for imports of Yugoslavian carpets into the United Kingdom for the year 1952 as a result of recent trade discussions; and what reciprocal benefits have been obtained for United Kingdom carpet or other manufacturers.

Mr. P. Thorneycroft

Under the five-year trade agreement with Yugoslavia. we have established an import quota of £50,000 for Yugoslav carpets for the current year. There is no specific quota for United Kingdom carpets, but despite their financial difficulties the Yugoslavs have established quotas of about £¾ million for the import of United Kingdom textiles and other consumer goods for which no provision was made last year.

Mr. Nabarro

While there may be justification for importing foreign carpets in certain circumstances in view of reciprocal benefits which are given for United Kingdom manufactures, would my right hon. Friend bear in mind that the home carpet industry is going through an exceedingly difficult period and that every import quota granted in Europe or elsewhere is merely aggravating the employment position in our carpet industry?

Mr. Thorneycroft

While sympathising with the very proper desire of my hon. Friend to safeguard the industry of Kidderminster, I should point out that the imports of carpets from Yugoslavia for the first four months of this year amounted only to £141. In practice, therefore, they are hardly very serious.