HC Deb 20 June 1950 vol 476 cc93-4W
78. Mr. Odey

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he is aware that German handbags of best quality calf and excellent frames are being imported into this country, whereas British manufacturers are prohibited from using calf for handbags for the home market, and are also prohibited from buying frames from Germany; and whether he will now revise these regulations to enable British manufacturers to compete with the Ger man handbag trade.

Mr. Bottomley

I am aware that, under the Trade Agreement with Western Germany, a small quantity of German handbags are coming to this country without restriction as to the quality of material from which they are made. United Kingdom manufacturers of handbags are at present debarred from using calf leather for the home market owing to the shortage of this material, which has had to be reserved for export trade and the more essential home uses. We are now considering, however, whether the supply position would justify any relaxation in this respect. Handbag frames are permitted to be imported from Germany for making bags for export, but currency considerations have so far prevented such imports purely for home use.