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Imported Artificial Silk Staple Fibre (Drawback)

Volume 529: debated on Tuesday 29 June 1954

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24 and 25.

asked the President of the Board of Trade (1) on what date drawback ceased to apply to imported artificial silk fibres used in the manufacture in this country of articles for export;

(2) whether, in view of the need for encouraging export trade, he will take steps to reintroduce a drawback on imported artificial silk fibres, which are subject to import duties and are used in the manufacture of articles for export.

I assume that the hon. Member is referring to artificial silk staple fibre. The drawback scheme for artificial silk staple fibre used in the manufacture of articles for export came to an end on the 31st December, 1951, in respect of all subsequent imports.

On the question of reintroduction of the drawback, I would refer the hon. Member to the answer given on 23rd February to the Question asked by the right hon. Member for Colne Valley (Mr. Glenvil Hall).

Can the right hon. Gentleman state the reasons for discontinuing this drawback, which, when available, helped to minimise the harmful effect of this duty upon manufacturers making goods for export? Does he appreciate that while this drawback is not available, the indirect consequence of this duty is to cause considerable loss of valuable export trade?

I have had no evidence that it does amount to any significant handicap, but if the hon. Gentleman has any information which he cares to send to me to the effect that it does, I shall, of course, be glad to receive it.

Has the right hon. Gentleman not received representations from the Rayon Merchants' Association, in Manchester, quite recently on this subject?

The representations which we have had, and which have not been many, have not led us to believe that the effect is at all significant as a handicap to our export trade.