HC Deb 17 February 1927 vol 202 cc1136-7W

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether his attention has been called to the fact that leatherette, an article of a kind which is not manufactured in this country, is liable to a. duty of 16⅔ per cent., while articles made of this dutiable material are admitted into this country without any duty being levied upon the leatherette of which they are made, and are thus enabled to compete with exactly similar articles made by British labour from this imported raw material; and what action he proposes to take to protect those engaged in this British industry from unfair competition?


My hon. Friend may recollect that this matter was discussed on the Committee stage of the Clause in last year's Finance Bill imposing the wrapping paper duty, when an amendment to exempt leatherette was rejected by the House. The position is that paper of a packing or wrapping description which has been coated or treated, is subject to duty, and that the duty also applies to articles made either entirely from such paper, or from such paper with the addition only of some adhesive substance or other material, the value of which does not exceed one-sixth of the total value of the whole article. I should add that my hon. Friend is mistaken in supposing that leatherette is not made in this country.