§ Major COURTHOPE
asked the President of the Board of Trade whether the Imports Restrictions Department has been requested to license the import of wooden handles on the alleged ground that handles of good quality and sufficient quantity cannot be produced from English timber; whether he is aware that this allegation is incorrect; and whether full opportunity will be given to home producers to supply the requirements of the trade before importation is allowed?
§ Mr. BRIDGEMAN
Full encouragement and opportunity has been given to the home produces of tool handles to supply all requirements before the importation of foreign handles has been allowed. But in view of the urgent representations of tool manufacturers as to a shortage of handles, and on the assurance that such licences as are issued will not involve the unemployment of workmen engaged on the manufacture of tool handles, some import from foreign countries has been allowed. It is, of course, important that the trade in British-made tools should not be jeopardised by the possible shortage of handles.209W