HC Deb 31 January 1956 vol 548 cc754-5
44. Mr. Swingler

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if, in the light of the harmful effects already experienced in the pottery industry, he will now remove the Purchase Tax on pottery.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer (Mr. Harold Macmillan)

No, Sir.

Mr. Swingler

Whilst appreciating that the Chancellor has had very little time to study many new problems, may I ask him if he is aware that when he does study the results of this ruinous tax he will find that there have been no extra exports but merely short-time working in the pottery industry? Will he give an assurance that when he discovers the errors of the ways of his predecessor he will have no hesitation in coming to the House to see that this tax shall be speedily removed?

Mr. Macmillan

My predecessor wrote to the Pottery Manufacturers' Federation —I think he sent a copy of his letter to the hon. Member—saying that he would watch developments in that industry, but I must be frank and say that I think nothing could do more harm than to leave doubt in this matter.