Part of Oral Answers to Questions — National Finance. – in the House of Commons on 3rd May 1932.
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) whether his attention has been drawn to the fact that the 3s. per 1b. import duty on raw silk represents to-day a tax of 40 per cent., while the duty on manufactured silk goods is only 33⅓ per cent., a difference in favour of the foreign manufacturer of 6¼ per cent., plus the lower wages paid to the workers in foreign silk centres; and whether he will consider reducing the duty on raw silk;
(2) whether his attention has been drawn to the competition between textiles made from various classes of raw material, namely, silk, cotton, and wool, such competition being in fabrics used in the garment trade generally; and, seeing that silk alone is handicapped by a raw material duty of 40 per cent. while wool and cotton have no such handicap, what steps will he take to place the silk industry in a position to compete with other textile industries?