HC Deb 14 August 1916 vol 85 cc1435-7W

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he is aware that the total import of embroideries from all sources to this country was in 1913, approximately, £3,250,000; in 1914, £2,500,000; and in 1915, £3,000,000, and that 95 per cent, at least of each of these totals was exported from the contiguous districts of the Voralberg, Austria; St. Gall, Switzerland; Plauen, Germany, which three districts have in all 30,000 embroidery machines; and, if so, what encouragement, if any, he is prepared to offer to English manufacturers, who, in the Nottingham districts, possess only 300 machines, to put down the plants of machinery necessary to produce this embroidery at home; and whether he is aware that the establishment of this industry in the United Kingdom would enable the lace and embroidery trades to absorb at the end of hostilities the large number of lace workers now serving with the Colours, or otherwise rendering service to the State, many of whom will be without employment?


I am aware that the values of imported embroidery were substantially as stated in the question, but I have no information as to the comparative number of embroidering machines in the United Kingdom and on the Continent. As regards the remaining part of the question, I cannot make any statement as to the course to be followed in regard to a particular industry pending consideration of the general policy to be adopted by His Majesty's Government after the War.