HC Deb 23 February 1954 vol 524 cc197-8
32. Mr. Drayson

asked the President of the Board of Trade what duty is charged on imported grey and bleached cloth, prints and rayon into the United Kingdom from India; and what duty is charged by India on similar exports from the United Kingdom.

Mr. Amory

No duty is chargeable on cotton piece goods imported from India, subject to the usual conditions relating to proof of origin and consignment. Rayon cloth imported from India, subject to the same conditions is liable to preferential duty at 5/6ths of the full rate applied to foreign goods, which varies according to the composition and width of the cloth. The import duties at present charged in India on United Kingdom cotton and rayon textiles range from 60 to 80 per cent ad valorem.

Mr. Drayson

Can the Minister say whether any conversations have taken place to try to get reciprocity in this matter, and to reduce the Indian duty to the level of the British?

Mr. Amory

We have from time to time pointed out this disparity between the rates charged on imports into India and the rates which we charge on imports into this country of Indian goods, but the Indian authorities seem determined on the high rate of protection of their own industries, and my hon. Friend will realise that it is not for us to question the wisdom of their own policy in that respect.