HC Deb 29 May 1968 vol 765 cc1818-9
32. Mr. Robert Howarth

asked the President of the Board of Trade if he will give the figures for the imports of yarn, cloth and made-up textiles for the first quarter of this year; and how these compare with the same period in the previous five years, making allowances for the effects of devaluation.

Mr. J. P. W. Mallalieu

As the Answer contains a table of figures I will, with permission, circulate it in the OFFICIAL REPORT. Because a number of other factors have influenced the level of imports, it is not practicable to isolate the effects of devaluation.

Mr. Howarth

While thanking my hon. Friend for that reply, may I ask him whether he is aware that I am concerned about the bunching of imports, which causes problems for particular sections of the industry? Will he consider taking steps to ensure an even spread of imports over the whole year?

Mr. Mallalieu

I take my hon. Friend's point. We have considered it, but there are great difficulties.

Sir Frank Pearson

Will the Minister accept that the fact that many small but efficient textile firms are closing down indicates that the level of imports under the quota is far too high? Can he say when he will be able to make a statement with regard to the quota position after 1970?

Mr. Mallalieu

We shall be in a better position to make decisions on that when we get the report on productivity from the Textile Council.

Mr. Ronald Atkins

Will my hon. Friend recommend to his right hon. Friend the Chancellor the imposition of revenue-raising import duties on Portuguese textiles, similar to those which they impose on our motor cars?

Mr. Mallalieu

I would certainly be prepared to pass on my hon. Friend's remarks to my right hon. Friend, but I would have thought that he would be in trouble in this direction with our international agreements.

Mr. Fletcher-Cooke

Can the Minister of State say, without going into the figures, whether devaluation has had a beneficial effect both on import and export figures compared with this time last year?

Mr. Mallalieu

Not so far, partly because of the very large restocking which has been taking place.

(including imports for process and re-export)
Yarn (a) Cloth Made-up*
Period January-March (b) (c) Textiles(d) Clothing
Million lb. £ million (c.i.f.) £ million sq. yds £ million (c.i.f. £ million lb. £ million (c.i.f.) £ million (c.i.f.) £ million (c.i.f.)
1963 21.2 4.7 239.5 21.7 0.4 0.2 3.0 14.7
1964 23.7 6.6 259.6 25.5 0.3 0.2 3.3 19.7
1965 25.3 7.3 216.7 19.3 0.4 0.2 2.7 15.4
1966 28.7 8.2 305.0 27.3 0.6 0.3 4.1 17.0
1967 26.7 6.9 261.3 26.3 0.9 0.4 4.7 20.7
1968 32.8 10.1 342.6 33.8 1.1 0.6 6.1 28.4


(a) Textile yarn and thread.

(b) Woven fabrics (excluding narrow fabrics) of cotton, silk, wool, linen, ramie, true hemp, jute, and man-made fibres.

(c) Woven fabrics (excluding narrow fabrics other than glass fibre fabrics) of other materials.

(d) Made-up articles wholly or mainly of textile materials (excluding special textile fabrics and related products, and tulle, lace, embroidery, ribbons, trimmings and other small wares). Clothing is not included.

* Quantities not available for all headings.