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Handcrafts (Export)

Volume 466: debated on Monday 4 July 1949

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asked the President of the Board of Trade what action the Government propose to take to encourage workpeople not only to continue in but to take up handcrafts, in view of the necessity to promote the export of British handcrafts.

The Ministry of Education, through local education authorities, encourage the development of crafts in all types of schools, and in establishments for further education. My Department have promised financial assistance, provided that there is also a measure of private support, to the Crafts Centre of Great Britain whose aim is to maintain and improve the standard of British craftsmanship. I would also refer my hon. Friend to the scheme, announced by my right hon. and learned Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer on 30th July, 1948, for giving relief from Purchase Tax on certain categories of handmade articles which reach approved standards of design and craftsmanship. Finally, my Department have given financial assistance to British Handcrafts Export, a body formed on private initiative whose special aim is to promote the sale overseas of British craftwork of a high standard.