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Industrial Machinery (Dollar Imports)

Volume 529: debated on Monday 21 June 1954

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asked the President of the Board of Trade whether, in the interest of industrial efficiency and re-equipment, he will now remove or modify the present licensing restrictions on the import of machinery from the dollar area.

The Government think it of the greatest importance that British industry should be well equipped and believe that re-equipment can usually be carried out with British-made machinery which in so many fields is second to none. At the same time the Government, while still unable in our present balance of payments situation to remove licensing restrictions on imports of dollar machinery, consider that some of the severity of the existing restrictions can be relaxed. Accordingly, in future, more favourable consideration will be given to applications for import licences whenever the Board of Trade are satisfied, from the information before them in each case, that a dollar machine will reduce costs and that no alternative non-dollar machine offering roughly similar advantages is available.