Australia and Canada (Import Duties).

Oral Answers to Questions — Trade and Commerce. – in the House of Commons on 28th November 1933.

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Photo of Sir Robert Perkins Sir Robert Perkins , Stroud

1 and 2.

asked the Secretary of State for Dominion Affairs (1) what is the present duty on British edible fats and lard entering Australia; and whether the duty has been increased since the Ottawa Agreement was signed;

(2) what alterations have taken place in the Australian tariff on British elastic fabrics under one inch in width since the Ottawa Agreements?

COMMONWEALTH DUTIES.
Rubber threads; Apparel, elastic under one inch in width.
20th August, 1932.14th October, 1932.12th May, 1933.5th October, 1933.
British preferential rate.General rate.British preferential rate.General rate.British preferential rate.General rate.British preferential rate.*General rate.
Ad valorem %NilNilNil15355526¼55
Primage duty ad valorem %.101010101010510
Total ad valorem10101025456531¼65

The SECRETARY of STATE for DOMINION AFFAIRS (Mr. J. H. Thomas):

Since the reply takes the form of a tabular statement, I propose to circulate it in the OFFICIAL REPORT. Briefly, the position is that the duties to which my hon. Friend refers were increased in the early part of 1933, but were in each case reduced on 5th October, 1933.

Photo of Sir Robert Perkins Sir Robert Perkins , Stroud

Is it not a fact that there is a net increase in each of these two cases?

Mr. THOMAS:

I believe that that is so, but the figures are given in the tabular statement.

Photo of Sir Robert Perkins Sir Robert Perkins , Stroud

May I ask whether the right hon. Gentleman has done anything about this matter during the last six months, in view of the fact that I brought it to his notice over six months ago?

Photo of Major Abraham Lyons Major Abraham Lyons , Leicester East

Arising out of the original answer, may I ask whether the right hon. Gentleman has received representations from the manufacturers of elastic web, who are suffering?

Mr. THOMAS:

Yes, Sir. With regard to the supplementary question of the hon. Member for Stroud (Mr. Perkins), I am in, I will not say daily, but constant communication with the Dominions on all these matters.

Photo of Sir Robert Perkins Sir Robert Perkins , Stroud

Is there any immediate prospect of anything being done? Owing to the unsatisfactory nature of the reply, I beg to give notice that I shall raise the matter on the Motion for the Adjournment of the House.

Following is the tabular statement:

Edible fats n.e.i. and lard.
20th August, 1932.9th March, 1933.5th October, 1933.
British preferential rate.General rate.British preferential rate.General rate.British preferential rate.*General rate.
Per lb.ld.2d.3d.4d.2¼d.†4d.
Primage duty ad valorem %.10%10%10%10%5%10%
Total1d. per lb. + 10% ad val.2d. per lb. + 10% ad. val.3d. per 1b. + 10% ad val.4d. per lb. + 10% ad. val.2¼d. per lb.+ 5% ad val.4d. per lb. + 10% ad. val.
* So long as the rate of exchange between sterling and Australian currency remains substantially as at present.
† Provided that 12½ per cent. of the value for duty is not less than ¾d. per lb. in which case the duty. would be 3d. per lb. minus 12½ per cent. of the value for duty

Photo of Major Abraham Lyons Major Abraham Lyons , Leicester East

3.

asked the Secretary of State for Dominion Affairs the number of occasions and dates upon which the tariff boards of Australia and Canada, respectively, have sat to consider applications from British industry for tariff alterations and the industries which have made application to be heard in pursuance of the Ottawa Agreements?

Mr. THOMAS:

I have no information in regard to the number of occasions or the dates upon which the tariff boards in Canada and in the Commonwealth of Australia have respectively met since the ratification of the Agreements made at Ottawa. So far as Canada is concerned, I am sending to my hon. and learned Friend a list of the tariff items which have been submitted by His Majesty's Government in the United Kingdom to His Majesty's Government in Canada, for review by the Canadian Tariff Board. As regards Australia, I understand that the tariff board has, since the signature of the Ottawa Agreement, submitted numerous reports which have resulted, in the main, in the reduction of tariff rates on United Kingdom imports.

Photo of Major Abraham Lyons Major Abraham Lyons , Leicester East

While thanking the right hon. Gentleman for the information he has given me, may I ask if there is no cohesion at all between the tariff boards sitting in these two Dominions and the Dominions Office here; and whether it is a fact that the first application from any British industry was sent as far back as August, and that only one application has been heard, despite the time that has elapsed since the Ottawa Agreements?

Mr. THOMAS:

I do not know whether my hon. Friend is referring to Canada or to Australia in this connection—

Mr. THOMAS:

If it is to Canada, he should himself get, into touch with the British interests, who are in daily contact with the Dominions Office.

Photo of Major Abraham Lyons Major Abraham Lyons , Leicester East

May I still ask whether it is a fact that the first British industry to go before the tariff board only sent in its application as recently as last August

Mr. THOMAS:

I do not know, but if that is so it rather shows that they were very lax in their own interests.