§ 20. Mr. Swingler
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer to what extent his Department has studied the effect of Purchase Tax on the pottery industry, particularly in the first quarter of the year; and if he will take steps to diminish the harm done.
§ Mr. Erroll
I am aware that the home sales of pottery in the first quarter of this year were low, but in this connection the seasonal pattern of the trade must be borne in mind. The tax reductions made in the Budget and the now very moderate rate applying to its products should be of benefit to this industry.
§ Mr. Swingler
Has not the Economic Secretary studied the representations made to him, which give clear evidence that there is a considerable withholding of orders from the industry in anticipation of Purchase Tax changes and that this takes place during the first quarter of the year? While we want the complete removal of Purchase Tax from pottery, will he not seriously consider the effects of the present position as they are felt between Christmas and the date of the Budget?
§ Mr. Erroll
A deputation explained their point of view to me fully. While I recognise that this may be a minor factor, I think that they would do well to consider the essentially seasonal nature of their industry.