Motor Cars (Imports).

Oral Answers to Questions — Trade and Commerce. – in the House of Commons on 21st May 1935.

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Photo of Mr Harold Hales Mr Harold Hales , Stoke-on-Trent Hanley


asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he is aware that in the first quarter of 1934 622 motor cars were imported into Great Britain from America at a cost of £81,491, and in the same quarter of 1935 2,163 at a cost of £338,383; and, having regard to the injury to the British motor industry by this increased importation of foreign cars and the increase in the number of unemployed, will he take immediate steps to raise the duty to a minimum of 50 per cent.?

Photo of Mr Neville Chamberlain Mr Neville Chamberlain , Birmingham, Edgbaston

I am aware of the figures quoted by my hon. Friend. The available statistics as to the home production of motor cars and the returns of employment in the motor industry do not, however, suggest that the industry has been seriously affected by the increased imports of foreign cars, which are still very small in comparison with the output of British cars. But the position will be kept under review.

Photo of Mr Harold Hales Mr Harold Hales , Stoke-on-Trent Hanley

Is my right hon. Friend satisfied that we Britishers should sit down tamely and allow foreigners to dump their surplus production of cars into this country, putting over 8,000 men permanently out of work and involving the expenditure of over £600,000 per annum for dole payments? Will he not follow the example of Mussolini who has protected the Italian motor industry by an import duty of 250 per cent.