§ 63 and 64. Mr. Swingler
asked the President of the Board of Trade (1) to what value he permitted the import of stereo cameras from Germany in the last year for which figures are available; and why such imports are so restricted.
(2) what was the total value of imports of cameras and camera equipment from Germany in the last year for which figures are available; and if he will relax the restrictions on these imports.
§ The Minister of State, Board of Trade (Mr. A. R. W. Low)
In 1954 imports of cameras and camera equipment from Western Germany totalled £876,800. Separate figures are not available for stereo cameras. Cinematograph cameras, other cameras of a Customs value not exceeding £5 10s. and most photographic equipment except lenses may be imported freely under open general licence. The restrictions on the remaining types are maintained for balance of payments reasons. These have been in force since the war and are reviewed from time to time together with the restrictions on other imports.
§ Mr. Swingler
Is the Minister aware that his Department is preventing the import of stereo cameras altogether, that such cameras are not made in this country and are required by a number of undertakings here, and will he investigate this immediately and allow these cameras to come in?
§ Mr. Low
I have investigated this matter since the hon. Gentleman wrote to my right hon. Friend. We are not stopping the imports of these stereo cameras completely; but there are quotas for their import from Western Germany. Those quotas were fully used last year, and I have every reason to think they will be fully used this year.
§ Mr. Osborne
Is the Minister aware that camera interests in this country are concerned about the competition from Western Germany, and can he say whether 766 there is any export help given by the German Government to their manufacturers?