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Jewellery Imports

Volume 440: debated on Monday 21 July 1947

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asked the President of the Board of Trade the policy of his Department on the import of jewellery from Czechoslovakia; if he realises the extent to which this import will inflict injury on the Birmingham jewellery industry, and that the action contemplated by his Department is a violation of the principle of consultation with industry, which was the basis of the constitution of the working party of which he approved.

Jewellery has been included in the published token import list from the outset of the scheme in April, 1946. The inclusion involved imports of 20 per cent. by value of prewar trade from countries participating in the token import scheme. In accordance with our more liberal import policy towards countries whose economies have been disrupted by war, it has been agreed to admit imports from Czechoslovakia at a slightly more favourable rate, approximately 25 per cent. by value of pre-war trade. Owing to price rises this represents a much smaller proportion of prewar volume and I do not agree that these imports are likely to injure the home industry. The industry are aware that certain limited imports are being permitted from various sources and while I am anxious to keep in close touch with them, I could not undertake to consult them on all the detailed arrangements for imports.