asked the President of the Board of Trade whether it was necessary for the Committee considering the application for the imposition of a duty on imported opal glass shades to be satisfied that serious unemployment is being caused by such importations; and, if so, whether he can state what evidence was produced before the Committee that such conditions prevailed?
The application which the Committee in question considered was one for the imposition of a duty on domestic and illuminating glassware. They had accordingly to investigate unemployment in the industry concerned with such ware, caused by importation. The evidence was given in public, but considerations of economy prevent its reproduction and publication.
asked the President of the Board of Trade if he can state, in reference to domestic glassware, which in terms of the draft order when imported for the purpose of mounting with silver or other metals will be exempted from the duty of 33⅓ per cent; whether such glassware when placed in metal frames, but not mounted with metal, will also be exempted; and whether the exemption will apply in the pickle jars, liqueur bottles, tantalus bottles, ink bottles, communion glasses, glass tobacco jars and scent bottles imported for use in cabinets and other wooden mounts!
asked the President of the Board of Trade if he is aware that the witnesses who appeared before the Glassware Committee appointed by him under the Safeguarding of Industries Act deny the statement issued by the Committee that invoices were produced to them showing that table and fancy glassware manufactured in CzechoSlovakia was being sold at prices ranging from six per cent. below to 30 per cent. above pre-War prices: whether the shorthand notes show numerous instances in which prices were quoted is 100 per cent. to 150 per cent. above pre-War prices; whether secret evidence was obtained to the effect stated by the Committee; and, if so, what action was taken to verify the correctness of this secret evidence?
The answer to the first part of the question is in the negative. As regards the second part., I am aware that evidence was given by opponents of the application in many cases to the effect indicated by the hon. and gallant Gentleman. As stated last Monday in reply to the hon. Member for Spennymoor, the evidence on which the Committee base their statement consisted mainly of original invoices.
asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he is aware that the trade term "Belgian tumblers "means tumblers of different shapes, primarily with thin tops but with bottoms of varying thicknesses; and whether, in view of the confusion existing in the trade as to which, if any, form of Belgian tumbler he proposes to tax, he will take some action to define exactly on what kind of tumbler the duty is to be charged?
As I have previously pointed out, it is obvious from the Report of the Committee that they did not give to the term in question the wide meaning which the hon. Member suggests. The term is not used in the Draft Order, the wording of which is not, I think, in any way ambiguous.