HC Deb 05 April 1955 vol 539 cc983-4
17 Mr. Peyton

asked the President of the Board of Trade (1) the average import price per pair of leather, knitted, and fabric gloves, respectively, imported from Hong Kong into this country; (2) the numbers of gloves, leather, woollen, and fabric, imported from Japan during January and February of this year; (3) the numbers of fabric gloves imported into the United Kingdom in January and February, 1955, and during the same months in 1954.

Mr. Low

As the answer contains a number of figures, I will circulate it in the OFFICIAL REPORT.

Mr. Peyton

While thanking my right hon. Friend for that somewhat delayed reply, may I ask whether he would not agree that the prices of gloves imported into this country from Hong Kong are now such as to render competition by the home industry almost impossible? For instance, is he aware that orders for woollen gloves this year are 77 per cent. down compared with this time last year? Would he not agree that the time has come when this country's trade policy with the Colonies should be urgently re-examined?

Mr. Low

The hon. Member is raising a rather wider topic which is contained in a later Question on the Order Paper. But on the general subject of Government action, I have nothing to add to the answer given on 9th December by the President of the Board of Trade.

Following is the answer:

Jan.—Feb., 1954 Jan.—Feb., 1955
Thousand dozen pairs Thousand dozen pairs Average value per pair
Leather s. d.
Hong Kong 3 1 10½
Total world 6 9
Hong Kong 4 71 1 10½
Japan 6
Total world 23 90
Other descriptions including knitted and mittens
Hong Kong 24 30 1
Japan 8
Total world of which woollen 69 74
Hong Kong 2 4
Japan negligible
Total world 3 5
Total, all gloves
Hong Kong 28 104
Japan 14
World 98 173