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New Import Duties

Volume 236: debated on Tuesday 4 March 1930

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asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he is aware that British motor car manufacturers and traders would welcome an impartial committee of inquiry into the operation of the McKenna Duties and in relation to Empire trade, and are ready to place information respecting costs and methods at the disposal of such a committee; and whether, in view of these circumstances, he will favourably consider the initiation of an inquiry?


asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he has considered the offer made on 24th February, 1930, by the British section of the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders offering to pay the whole of the costs of an inquiry to investigate every aspect of the question in relation to the motor industry, whether by the Economic Advisory Council or by a special commission; and whether he intends to take advantage of this offer?

No such offer has been submitted to me, and I have no information on the matter beyond references to it in the Press.

If such an offer were submitted, would not His Majesty's Government fortify themselves by the advice and opinion of an impartial committee on a matter which, apart from party controversy, is of great consequence to a large number of people?

This alleged statement by this Society has not been submitted to me, and, therefore, I am not called upon to offer any observations upon it. The right hon. Gentleman knows that these duties were imposed, not in the interests of trade, but purely as revenue duties, and, therefore, it is the duty of the Chancellor of the Exchequer to consider them from that point of view.

Is that the only point of view from which the right hon. Gentleman is going to consider them?