HC Deb 07 December 1965 vol 722 cc231-2
38. Mr. Bessell

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer when the temporary surcharge on imports will be finally removed.

Mr. Callaghan

I would refer the hon. Gentleman to the debate on 29th November.

Mr. Bessell

Is the Chancellor aware that the continued use of the import charge is providing artificial protection to British industry, is probably discouraging exports, and does not make credible his own statement that the British economy is now on a safe footing?

Mr. Callaghan

That sounds to me like a frustrated export from last week's debate. I assure the hon. Gentleman that, far from saying that the British economy is safe, I have been in the forefront, with my other colleagues in the Government, in insisting that we need a continual improvement in our balance of payments before we can say that the economy is wholly safe. I think that that end can be attained if we continue on the path which we have set ourselves.

41. Mr. G. Campbell

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer how much revenue was produced for the Echequer by the temporary import surcharge in its first year.

Mr. Callaghan

I would refer the hon. Member to the Answer given to the hon. Member for Worcester (Mr. Peter Walker) on 25th November.

Mr. Campbell

Is not this now a half-concealed extra tax upon the consumer?

Mr. Callaghan

The figure of £169 million is within the margin of error of last April's forecast, and clearly extra revenue must be of the nature of an additional tax, but this does not seem to me to raise any new point over and above those we discussed last April.