HC Deb 26 November 1968 vol 774 cc277-8
10. Mrs. Renée Short

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will now reconsider his refusal to introduce import quotas or other methods of controlling imports in the interests of the national economy.

Mr. Roy Jenkins

I would refer the hon. Member to my statement to the House on 22nd November.

Mrs. Short

May I take this opportunity of thanking my right hon. Friend for adopting some of the policies that some of us have been urging on him for a long time, particularly with regard to import control? Will he reconsider the selectivity that he has imposed, on certain foodstuffs in particular, in order to assist his right hon. Friend the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, who is very anxious to save even more money now spent on importing foreign foodstuffs?

Mr. Jenkins

No, Sir. I think that our decision that the scheme should apply to a large proportion, but by no means the whole, of our imports was the right basis on which to proceed. It would be a great mistake at this stage to vary the scheme.


Does not the Chancellor realise that the pattern of trade is so intricate that by this bludgeon of a measure he is likely to harm almost as many exporters indirectly as importers directly? Has he taken any steps yet to find out how many companies are bankrupt already since his announcement?

Mr. Jenkins

No, Sir. I am sorry that the hon. Gentleman, who is always rather a bludgeon with words, should refer in this way to suggestions put forward by his right hon. Friends the Members for Barnet (Mr. Maudling) and Enfield, West (Mr. Iain Macleod).

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