HC Deb 21 July 1955 vol 544 cc562-3
50. Mr. Holt

asked the President of the Board of Trade the import duty applicable to winding machinery used in the cotton trade; what applications he has recently received for such machinery to be imported duty-free; and what answer he has given.

Mr. P. Thorneycroft

The rate of import duty on foreign winding machinery used in the cotton textile industry is generally 20 per cent. ad valorem. I have received no applications for the variation of this duty. Since August, 1954, I have received fifty-two applications for licences to import textile winding machinery free of duty, under Section 10 of the Finance Act, 1932, of which seven have been granted, twenty-eight refused and seventeen are still under consideration.

Mr. Holt

Does the President not agree that granting these applications more sympathetically would be a useful, if only a small, contribution towards solving the difficulties of the cotton trade at the moment?

Mr. Thorneycroft

I must act within the terms of the Act.