§ Mr. Harry Howarth
asked the President of the Board of Trade (1) if he is aware of the effect that increased imports of boots and shoes is having on the boot and shoe industry in this country; and if he will take steps to deal with the problem;
(2) what representations he has received regarding the high level of imports of boots and shoes into this country; and what reply he has sent;
(3) what machinery exists between his Department and the British Footwear Manufacturers Federation for consultation in respect of imports of boots and shoes; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Darling
The Board of Trade and the trade associations representing the footwear industry are constantly in touch about these and other problems of the industry. For the British industry to compete successfully, both in the domestic and export markets, increased productive efficiency is necessary and I believe the industry realises this. We have recently received representations about the prices of rubber and canvas footwear imported from certain Eastern European sources: these are under consideration.