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British Cotton Goods (Nyasaland)

Volume 245: debated on Monday 24 November 1930

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asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he has yet investigated the reasons for the fall of the proportion of United Kingdom cotton goods entering Nyasaland to about one-third of what it was five years ago and the reasons why the importations of similar foreign cotton goods have doubled in that period; and if he will examine the Congo Basin treaties to ascertain whether they operate to the disadvantage of United Kingdom goods?

The decline in the exports of United Kingdom cotton piece goods to Nyasaland and other British territories in East Africa has for some years received the close attention of the Department of Overseas Trade, which has furnished special reports on the subject to the cotton industry in this country, but there do not appear to be any special reasons for this decline other than those which have, unfortunately, led to reductions in such exports to many other destinations. As regards the second part of the question, I think there is a fairly wide consensus of opinion that en balance the Congo Basin Convention is of advantage to the trade of this country.

Is it not the case that the principal competitor is Japan, and that the wages paid there are less than half what they are in this country?