ABNORMAL IMPORTATIONS ACT. (Hansard, 16 February 1932)
HC Deb 16 February 1932 vol 261 cc1437-9
11. Major BEAUMONT THOMAS

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he will take steps under the Abnormal Importations (Customs Duties) Act, to prevent the importation of luxuries such as jewellery?

22. Mr. PERKINS

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether the Government proposes to take further action under the Abnormal Imports Act; and, if so, whether he can state when the next schedule will be issued?

43. Captain PETER MACDONALD

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether it is his intention to issue any further orders under the Abnormal Importations (Customs Duties) Act before Easter?

Mr. RUNCIMAN

It is the intention of the Government to continue to use the powers they have under the Abnormal Importations (Customs Duties) Act, if it becomes necessary to do so, but I cannot anticipate what may or may not be included in any future orders.

Mr. HANNON

May I ask what steps the right hon. Gentleman will take to satisfy himself that these abnormal import duties should remain?

Mr. RUNCIMAN

We shall take every means at our disposal to collect all the information, and to act upon it.

Mr. HANNON

Is the right non. Gentleman aware of the peculiar difficulties of those engaged in the jewellery industry in Birmingham?

Mr. RUNCIMAN

Representations have already been made to me on that subject.

Mr. THORNE

Has the attention of the right hon. Gentleman been called to the fact that Birmingham jewellers have passed a resolution saying the 10 per cent. duty is no good to the jewellery trade of Birmingham?

21. Major-General Sir ALFRED KNOX

asked the President of the Board of Trade the amounts of the various categories of goods subject to duties under the Abnormal Importations Act imported from Soviet Russia during the last two months?

Mr. RUNCIMAN

Details of the imports from particular countries covered by the Act in question are not available, and the information could only be obtained at an expense which I do not think would be justified.

Sir A. KNOX

Is it not a fact that the Abnormal Importations (Customs Duties) Act does not touch the question of dumping from Russia?

Viscountess ASTOR

Is there anything more abnormal, with industry in the state in which it is to-day, than not to want to trade with any country?

23 Mr. LEONARD

asked the President of the Board of Trade (1) whether he is aware that linen hemstitched household cloths have increased in price by 7s. 6d. per dozen since the imposition of the Abnormal Importations (Customs Duties), No. 1, Order, 1931; and whether he will allow this duty to lapse;

(2) whether he is aware that the price of greaseproof paper has been increased by £10 per ton since the imposition of the 50 per cent, duty under the Abnormal Importations (Customs Duties), No. 1, Order, 1931; and whether, as this increase is preventing developments in the packing of commodities for sale, such as the wrapping of bread, he will allow this duty to lapse;

(3) whether he is aware that the price of biscuit bags has been increased in some cases by 1s. 10d. per thousand since the imposition of the 50 per cent. duty under the Abnormal Importations (Customs Duties), No. 1, Order, 1931; and, as these and other increases in the prices of paper are preventing the consumer from securing the full benefit of the fall in the world price of other commodities, will he allow this duty to lapse?

Mr. RUNCIMAN

My attention has already been called to the increase in the price of paper bags and greaseproof paper but not to the increase in the price of linen hem-stitched household cloths. The situation in regard to the former cases is being closely watched and I should be glad to consider any information the hon. Member can furnish me with in regard to linen cloths. For the rest I would remind him that one of the first functions of the proposed Import Duties Advisory Committee will be to review the position as to commodities upon which duties have been imposed under the Abnormal Importations (Customs Duties) Act.

Mr. T. WILLIAMS

Does the right bon. Gentleman regard these increases as justifiable in all the circumstances?

Mr. RUNCIMAN

I cannot give any general finding on the subject.

Mr. WILLIAMS

Does the right hon. Gentleman intend to make inquiries and ascertain whether or not they are justifiable. If not, are we to assume that all imported articles are to undergo the same increase?

Mr. RUNCIMAN

The inquiries are proceeding.

GLOBAL ISLES COURT OF RECORD