HC Deb 11 February 1954 vol 523 c1343
17. Mr. Holt

asked the President of the Board of Trade the policy of Her Majesty's Government with regard to tariff protection for private monopolies.

Mr. P. Thorneycroft

It is the policy of Her Majesty's Government to take into account, in considering tariff applications, all relevant factors, including the structure of the industry concerned.

Mr. Holt

Is the President not aware that although one-seventh of the raw material of the cotton trade now comes from rayon staple fibre, Messrs. Courtaulds are the only producers of rayon staple fibre here and they are protected by a very high tariff of 37½ per cent.? Does he think that this is in the interests of the country?

Mr. Thorneycroft

The hon. Member asked a very much wider question; that is, the general principle of protecting monopolies. The structure of a particular industry is a factor which must be borne in mind.