asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he is aware that as shown in the April report of the East and West Riding Regional Board for Industry, the import of expensive connecting rod boring machines from United States of America has caused unemployment amongst makers of a similar machine at Liversedge; why import licences involving the expenditure of dollars were authorised under such circumstances; and what action he proposes taking to economise in the use of dollars and to ensure that the fullest use is made of British manufacturing capacity.
The report issued by the Regional Board mentioned that a firm in Liversedge had recently had to stand off five of their employees owing to lack of demand for their connecting rod boring machines. The firm alleged that their machines are cheaper and better than comparable American machines. So far as I am aware, import licences for comparable American machines have not been issued for some years, but if my hon. Friend cares to give me details of the actual machine, I will make further inquiries.