HC Deb 10 July 1952 vol 503 cc1498-9
23. Mr. Pryde

asked the President of the Board of Trade if he is aware of the unfavourable conditions with which our exporting carpet manufacturers are being confronted by the Governments of Holland, Western Germany and the South American countries; and what action will be taken by his Department to bring this discrimination to an end.

Mr. P. Thorneycroft

I am fully alive to the difficulties confronting exporters of carpets in the markets to which the hon. Member refers. These difficulties, however, consist for the most part of quota restrictions or high tariffs which apply also to our competitors and I have no evidence of discrimination against this country. My Department will continue to press for the removal of these restrictions.

Mr. Pryde

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that in South American countries they do not produce as many machine-woven carpets as one factory in the West of Scotland and the discriminatory tariffs are there to protect hand-woven carpets? Will his Department continue to press for better trading conditions for our people because, as the exchange value of the sol is very much against us, our people are in a most disadvantageous position?

Mr. Thorneycroft

While I will certainly do all I can to press for the removal of these restrictions on our trade, I should point out that the restrictions themselves are not of a discriminatory character in the sense that they do not discriminate between us and other exporting countries.