HC Deb 25 June 1963 vol 679 cc1120-1
24. Mrs. Castle

asked the President of the Board of Trade what reply he has sent to the recent representations by the Cotton Board for action to be taken against the dumping in this country of Indian cotton cloth at less than half the price at which it is sold on the Indian home market.

Mr. Green

My right hon. Friend is aware of the concern of the cotton industry about the prices at which Indian cotton textiles are being sold here and has informed the Cotton Board that he is giving support to their approaches to the Indian industry over measures to avoid price disruption in the British market.

Mrs. Castle

Is it not a fact that Indian cloth is frequently exported to this country at 40 per cent. of the price at which it is sold on the domestic market in India and that, in return for this, the exporters are compensated by the Export Development Council in India by the issue of import licences, called H licences, which they can sell for hard cash in India? Is not this a clear case of Government-sponsored dumping? In view of that, will the Board of Trade take the appropriate action under the appropriate legislation to put a stop to it?

Mr. Green

I have said that my right hon. Friend is supporting the Cotton Board in its approach to the Indian industry. The hon. Lady may care to know that so far no application for action under the Act has been received.

Sir C. Osborne

Will my hon. Friend bear in mind that, while dumping of this type ought to be stopped, the Indian workers cannot have a higher standard of living unless we are prepared to buy what they produce?

Mr. Green

That also is true.