asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies on what basis licences are granted to the Japanese to enable them to import textile fabrics into Lagos.
The Nigerian authorities have been issuing licences to import Japanese textiles to meet the territory's essential needs. Import policy is now, however, being reviewed in the light of the balance of payments of the sterling area and the experience of the working of the Payments Agreement between the sterling area and Japan. The possibilities of increasing the exports of Lancashire textiles to the Colonies are also being urgently examined.
While thanking my right hon. Friend for his answer, may I ask him to bear in mind that the Japanese are copying British designs in textiles and exporting to West Africa, and that the advice given by his right hon. Friend the President of the Board of Trade is that the industry of Lancashire should take legal action in West Africa? Will my right hon. Friend deal with this matter at the source in West Africa, because otherwise such action is very expensive and often does not work at all?
I am willing to consult with the President of the Board of Trade about the appropriate measures.