HC Deb 23 November 1920 vol 135 cc255-6W

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether his attention has been called to the large importation of silk mixtures into this country, namely, articles manufactured from a mixture of silk and cotton; whether he is aware that the importation has increased from 1,933,612, yards in 1913 to 12,946,330 yards in 1920 from Switzerland; whether at the same time the imports of the same goods has increased from 3,797,154 yards in 1913 to 12,313,681 yards in 1920 from France; and, in view of the fact that there is a serious threat of unemployment in the silk trade in the United Kingdom, what steps he proposes to take to relieve this position which is caused entirely through the depreciated European exchanges?


The recorded imports of mixed silk broadstuffs during the first half of the year were as stated by my hon. Friend. I find, however, that in the case of France the total imports of silk broadstuffs, taking pure and mixed together, for the first nine months of the year were no greater than in the corresponding period of 1913. The aggregate imports from Switzerland do show a marked increase, but as the Swiss exchange is adverse to this country this increase cannot, I think, be due, as the hon. Member suggests, to the rate of exchange.