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Binoculars And Opera Glasses

Volume 155: debated on Monday 12 June 1922

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asked the President of the Board of Trade whether his attention has been called to the considerable loss to trade, especially that of re-export, in low-priced binoculars and opera glasses since the introduction of the Safeguarding of Industries Act, which has imposed a duty of 33⅓ per cont. on such imported articles and, seeing that these low-priced articles are not manufactured in Great Britain, although the Safeguarding of Industries Act was passed into Law nearly a year ago, is he prepared to consider the advisability of bringing in an amending Bill to remove from the list of dutiable commodities such articles which were not made in Great Britain previous to the Safeguarding of Industries Act and have not been made since?

My attention has not been called to any trade effects of the kind mentioned by the hon. Member, and, in view of the provisions of Sections 12 and 13 of the Safeguarding of Industries Act, I am unable to agree that the Act is responsible for any falling-off which there may have been in re-exports of this particular kind. The answer to the last part of the question is in the negative; and in this connection I would remind the hon. Member of the Amendment which I moved during the Committee stage of the Bill on the 20th July of last year, but which was not accepted by the House.

If I supply the right hon. Gentleman with information, will he have investigation made so as to prevent any unnecessary loss of trade to this country?