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Motor Vehicle Headlamp Bulbs

Volume 928: debated on Monday 21 March 1977

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asked the Secretary of State for Trade how many light bulbs of the type used in motor car headlamps were imported into the United Kingdom during each of the past four years.

Imports of all vehicle bulbs not exceeding 28 volts were 22 million, 28 million, 34 million and 49 million respectively for the four years to 1976.

Does my hon. Friend realise that the importation of these bulbs is doing great harm to companies in this country? Is he aware that these companies are saying that the cost of materials is equal to, if not greater than, the cost of these imported bulbs? Is not that dumping? Will my hon. Friend do something about the quality of these bulbs by letting the public know that they are very much below the standard of bulbs manufactured in this country?

That last point is a matter for my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Transport. My hon. Friend asked me about dumped bulbs. The Lighting Industry Federation submitted an anti-dumping application to us last year, but it withdrew it a couple of months ago because it could not provide domestic prices for comparison for more than a few of the 200 different types of bulbs imported. We are therefore examining the possibilities either of operating through the Commission to seek price and quantitative action from the Eastern bloc suppliers or of across-the-board import restrictions for all suppliers. I hope that one or other of these routes will he successful.