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Coin-Operated Phonographs

Volume 531: debated on Thursday 29 July 1954

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asked the President of the Board of Trade if he is aware that the manufacturing capacity of British firms is capable of satisfying all foreseeable demands in this country for coin-operated phonographs; and whether, in view of this, he will prohibit the importation of such machines from Western Germany.

Coin-operated phonographs are admissible from Western Germany under the open general licence as gramophones, and I regret that my hon. Friend was informed on 8th July that they are included in the quota for amusement machinery. I understand that British firms have considerable manufacturing capacity for these machines, but I am not prepared to prohibit their import from Western Germany since such a prohibition is not necessary to safeguard our balance of payments.

As the Minister is not prepared to prohibit the importation of these machines, would he at least try to obtain an assurance from the importers that they will maintain the same standards of distribution of these machines as is at present operated by the United Kingdom manufacturers?

They are on open general licences in this country, and I do not think that we can impose on importers a condition about their distribution.