§ 37. Mr. Osborne
asked the President of the Board of Trade how much tobacco in volume and in value it is proposed to import this year from dollar sources; and what were the corresponding figures for last year.
§ Mr. P. Thorneycroft
Imports into the United Kingdom of unmanufactured tobacco from the United States, Canada and Cuba are expected to amount in 1952 to some 103,500,000 lb., a reduction of 56 per cent. on imports of 233,740,933 lb. from these sources in 1951.
§ Mr. Osborne
Owing to the noise I could not quite hear the figure mentioned by my right hon. Friend, but I think it was a figure of 103 million pounds. In view of the fact that the dollar gap is not likely to be filled by our exports to the dollar markets, would it not be better to use the rare dollars we have to buy necessary food and cut out tobacco imports altogether from the market?
§ Mr. Thorneycroft
My hon. Friend missed the most satisfactory part of my answer. There has been a reduction of 56 per cent.
§ Mr. Mikardo
Would it not be best to stop altogether our imports of manufactured tobacco, including cigarettes, from dollar sources, because even though the amount is small it seems to be a waste of dollars.