asked the Secretary of State for Trade if he will consider banning imports of footwear from any source for three months whilst the Government holds an inquiry into the industry; and what is to be done to save footwear jobs.
Banning imports, even for a short period, would do more harm than good. It would breach our international obligations and invite retaliation or imitation. Moreover, for some lines the United Kingdom consumer has relied for many years mainly on imports. But, as indicated by my hon. Friend the Under-Secretary of State for Industry in the Adjournment debate of 20th January, the footwear industry has been urged to make proposals on how Government and industry together might determine how best to assure a successful future for the industry.
asked the Secretary of State for Trade what information he has about the foreign trading operations of British footwear manufacturers itemising (a) from which country or countries they import, (b) at what prices they import, (c) the quantities they are importing; and if he will make a statement.
The information is not available, as imports by footwear manufacturers are not distinguished separately in the overseas trade statistics.