HC Deb 08 May 1952 vol 500 c534
21. Mr. Frederick Mulley

asked the President of the Board of Trade what replies he has received from the Australian Government concerning the cancellations of orders, already completed, of goods made to special specifications or bearing the imprint of Australian importers, and which cannot, therefore, be sold in other markets; and if he is aware that this is a particularly urgent problem for the Sheffield cutlery and silverware industries.

Mr. P. Thorneycroft

The Australian Government has said that they will consider sympathetically the special difficulties arising over goods specially made for Australia which were already in production or completed when their restrictions were imposed, and which cannot be disposed of in other markets without severe loss.

Mr. Mulley

Can the right hon. Gentleman tell us what steps these firms should take in order to avail themselves of that sympathetic consideration?

Mr. Thorneycroft

The step that they should take immediately is to communicate with the importer in Australia so that he can make the necessary representations there.

Mr. Walter Fletcher

As the goods were ordered on f.o.b. contract, is it not clear that the onus is on the importer to fulfil a contract which is legally binding in this country?

Mr. Thorneycroft

The answer which I have given has no relation to the legal contractual position. It simply states that where there are goods of this category the Australian Government are anxious, irrespective of whether there is a binding contract or not, to facilitate their import.