HC Deb 22 February 1926 vol 192 cc74-5W

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he has received a communication from the Food Manufacturers' Federation, Incorporated, urging that in regard to safeguarding inquiries, when the Board of Trade are satisfied that a prima facie case has been made out and appoint a committee, there should be a reasonable length of time between such notice and the date of the commencement of the inquiry; that intending opponents should be given the right to obtain a copy of the application containing the grounds of such application immediately the announcement of inquiry is made, and that the articles on which it is asked that an import duty shall be levied shall be strictly defined; and whether he will see that the suggestions are acted upon?


I have received the communication to which the question refers. As regards the first suggestion it is the practice of the Board to give reasonable notice of the commencement of the inquiry, the period of notice being generally not less than three weeks. As regards the second and third suggestions, it is of course desirable that opponents who have signified their intention of appearing before a committee shall be placed in possession of at least a general statement of the applicants' case as soon as possible, and that the precise scope of the application hould be clearly defined; but the exact procedure to be followed in any particular case must, I think, be left to the discretion of the Committee.


asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) whether he is aware that large quantities of flowers are imported during the winter and spring months from the Continent; and whether, in order to increase and stimulate the cultivation of indoor and outdoor flowers in this country, he will consider the question of imposing a tax on all flowers imported from the Continent;

(2) if he is aware that large quantities of Oriental rugs and carpets are imported into this country annually; and whether, with a view to removing unemployment and increasing the number of persons employed in the carpet industry in this country, he will consider the question of imposing a tax on all highly-priced Oriental rugs and carpets?


I would refer my hon. Friend to the White Paper (Command Paper 2327 of 1925) which lays down the steps to be taken in cases where an industry is desirous of obtaining a safeguarding duty.