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Safeguarding Duties

Volume 245: debated on Thursday 20 November 1930

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asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) whether, in view of the deterioration in the industrial condition a the country since the beginning of the year, he will reconsider his decision to allow the Safeguarding Duties upon cutlery, gas mantles, and leather and fabric gloves to lapse on 22nd December next;(2) if he proposes to appoint a committee, as recommended by the Balfour Committee, to inquire into the Safeguarding Duties before they are allowed to expire next December?

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer 'whether his attention is being called to the fact that large wholesalers in this country are declining to stock British cutlery on the ground that the duty will be withdrawn towards the end of December; and whether, in view of the fact that this withdrawal will largely increase unemployment in this country, he will reconsider his decision to remove these duties?

The answer is in the negative. I should like to take this opportunity of removing the misapprehension which appears to exist in certain quarters that the assurance given by His Majesty's Government in the United Kingdom at the recent Imperial Conference in regard to the continuance of existing preferential margins implies a continuance of any of the Safeguarding Duties beyond the statutory terms for which they were imposed. The policy of the Government in regard to these duties is unaltered.

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether, in view of the Government's decision to retain the existing preferences on Imperial imports and the consequent retention of the existing Safeguarding Duties, he will now re-impose the only Safeguarding Duty which has been removed, namely, that on lace and embroidery, in order that the benefit of the preference in respect of the duty on these articles may not be lost to the Dominions?

No, Sir. I may add that the imports of lace and embroidery from the Dominions are negligible.

asked the Financial Secretary to the Treasury the amount of revenue derived from the Safeguarding Duties upon cutlery, gas mantles, leather gloves, fabric gloves and lace, respectively, during the past financial year?

The revenue in 1929–30 from leather or fur gloves was £292,264, and from fabric gloves, £142,064. The other information requested will be found in Table 5, page 15, of the 21st Report of the Commissioners of Customs and Excise (Command Paper 3651).