HC Deb 29 July 1952 vol 504 cc96-7W
50. Lieut.-Colonel Schofield

asked the President of the Board of Trade what unexpired import licences for cotton yarn and cotton cloth are still outstanding; and the value, volume and country of origin to which such licences apply.

Mr. P. Thorneycroft

The information is not available in the form in which my hon. and gallant Friend has asked, first since our records only show licences issued and not the amount imported against them, and secondly, since most licences recently issued have permitted the import of textiles from any of those countries to which the open general licence applied before its revocation in March, that is, mainly Western Europe. But I can say that over the past six months licences have been issued for the import of about £1¾ million of cotton yarns and £17 million of textile piece goods including cotton. Of the latter figure, approximately £15½ million of textile piece goods have been licensed since the revocation of the open general licence in March from the countries to which it applied.

51. Lieut.-Colonel Schofield

asked the President of the Board of Trade by what treaty obligations to arrange for the import of cotton yarn and cotton cloth he is bound; and if he will state the value, volume and the country to which such obligations apply.

Mr. P. Thorneycroft

Her Majesty's Government are not bound by any specific commitment in respect of imports of cotton yarn and cotton cloth, but the five-year Trade and Financial Agreements of 1949 with Poland, Czechoslovakia and Yugoslavia included an obligation to establish import quotas for certain less essential imports from those countries, and these imports could include textile goods which these countries have traditionally exported to this country. For Poland, an import quota of £45,000 for cotton cloth has been fixed for 1952. Negotiations with Czechoslovakia are still in progress. There is no quota for cotton yarn or cotton cloth from Yugoslavia.