HC Deb 04 February 1954 vol 523 c542
27. Mr. Holt

asked the President of the Board of Trade what rate of import duty is payable on imported machinery used in the cotton spinning and weaving industry; and if he will immediately reduce or eliminate such duty.

Mr. P. Thorneycroft

Foreign textile machinery is in general liable, according to type, to an import duty of 15 or 20 per cent. ad valorem. The Board of Trade are always prepared to examine any request made by a representative body of users for the reduction or removal of any protective duty. No such application has been received in respect of textile machinery.

Mr. Holt

If such an application is received, will the President give it proper consideration? Now that the cotton trade will be open to much severer competition, does he not think it is his duty to ensure that other trades from which it has to purchase important materials do not receive greater protection than the cotton trade?

Mr. Thorneycroft

If an application is made to me I will give it proper consideration.

Mr. H. Wilson

How does the right hon. Gentleman reconcile that statement with the statement of the Chancellor of the Exchequer on 11th March, 1952, that no applications under Section 10 of the Finance Act, 1932, would be considered?

Mr. Thorneycroft

They are different matters. This is a question of an increase in the general rate of tariff.