HC Deb 02 March 1954 vol 524 c998
40. Mr. Hurd

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if, in reviewing the control of dollar imports, he will keep in mind that in 1953 compared with the previous year imports of Canadian newsprint were allowed to increase by only £750,000 in value while imports of Canadian barley rose by £13 million in value, and that in the current year the country's economy would benefit by having more of the one and less of the other.

Mr. R. A. Butler

On 1st May, 1953, barley reverted to private trade, with liberty to import freely from any part of the world. Imports of Canadian newsprint increased by nearly £2.3 million c.i.f. in 1953, compared with 1952. Discussions are at present in progress between my noble Friend the Minister of Materials and the representatives of the newspapers on the subject of future supplies of newsprint. The question is being considered against the background of the balance-of-payments situation.

Mr. Hurd

As my right hon. Friend is responsible for the use of dollars, both Canadian and American, will he not keep the disparity to which the Question refers very much in the front of his mind?

Mr. Butler

Yes, Sir.

Mr. J. Hudson

Will the right hon. Gentleman take into account in further conferences that he may have with the interests concerned that it is not only the newsprint people who should be approached but the brewers? Cannot he come to some arrangement by which less of this material will have dollars wasted on it for the mere purpose of making beer?

Mr. Butler

That is a matter of opinion on which I should not like to cross swords with the hon. Gentleman.