HC Deb 22 December 1916 vol 88 cc1846-7W

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he is aware that, during the first ten months of the present year, ending on the 31st October last, 396,149 pounds' weight of wild birds' skins and feathers were imported into this country; and if he can state why, when the import of so many useful and much required commodities is prohibited owing to the shortage of tonnage, this amount of plumage, which is not a necessity, and which, since it comes in the raw state, is very bulky, is allowed to be imported?


The figures given relate to imports of feathers, exclusive of raw ostrich feathers. Practically the whole of such imports reach this country from France. I am advised that there is at present no lack of space an vessels returning from France to the United Kingdom, and so far, therefore, as economy of tonnage space is concerned, a prohibition of these imports would not secure any substantial advantage.