§ Captain BOWYER
asked the President of the Board of Trade (1) whether the Joint Interim Reconstruction Committee of the brush trade composed equally of employers and employed has pressed the Government to prohibit the importation of foreign-made brushes into this country during the process of reorganisation subsequent to the War; whether, in view of the fact that all its recommendations have hitherto been ignored, it is the intention of the Government to give effect to the recommendations of the committees which the Government itself created; (2) whether, with reference to the concession made to Italy, and subsequently to Japan, to import brushes into this country, this concession was for a definite period or whether it can be withdrawn at any time; and whether, in view of the fact that the concession made to Italy was on grounds that have ceased to exist since the Armistice, the concession can be withdrawn at once; (3) whether he is aware that in 1916 the English brush trade was largely engaged on Government work and so unable to meet the Home demand, which was fulfilled by foreign and especially Italian firms; whether, in the recent concession to Italy to import brushes into this country, her imports for 1916 have been taken as a basis; and whether, in taking this particular year as the basis, the Board of Trade was follow- 1853W ing the advice of its deputation from the interim reconstruction committee of the brush trade?
§ Sir A. GEDDES
I would refer the hon. and gallant Member to the various replies which have been given to similar questions and in particular to that given on 2nd June to the hon. Member for Watford. I would remind the hon. and gallant Gentleman that the policy involved applies only to the transitional period, during which time it is undesirable to endeavour to set aside the arrangements with Italy and Japan governing the importation of brushes from those countries.