asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Overseas Trade Department whether his attention has been called to the imposition of an Export Duty by the Spanish Government of 25 pesetas per ton on cork in sheets or slabs, and of 5 pesetas per ton on cork waste or shavings: whether he is aware of the effect this will have on the cost of finished goods made from these raw materials; and whether he has made any representations to the Spanish Government on the subject?
I am aware of the present rates of duty, which are correctly quoted in the question. I have received no representations from traders in regard to these duties, and as at present advised I am not proposing to take any action.
I am always prepared to give my best attention to any representations that are made to me, but I would remind my hon. Friend that the duty on the sheets of cork has been reduced by one-half compared with what it was, whereas the present Spanish tariff shows a general increase.