Steel Sheets and Plates (Imports).

Oral Answers to Questions — Trade and Commerce. – in the House of Commons on 6th December 1938.

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Photo of Mr James Griffiths Mr James Griffiths , Llanelly

asked the President of the Board of Trade the quantity of steel sheets and plates imported into this country to the last convenient date this year; whether these imports show an increase on the corresponding period of last year; and for what industrial purposes these commodities are imported?

Photo of Hon. Oliver Stanley Hon. Oliver Stanley , Westmorland

59,286 tons of plates and sheets were imported during the first 10 months of this year. This represents an increase of 28,628 tons over the same period last year. Importers are not required to declare the uses to which imports of plates and sheets are put, and I am accordingly not in a position to furnish information on this subject.

Photo of Mr James Griffiths Mr James Griffiths , Llanelly

How does the right hon. Gentleman explain the figures?

Photo of Hon. Oliver Stanley Hon. Oliver Stanley , Westmorland

I think the House is aware that there was a shortage at one period during last year, and that the duties on imported articles of this kind were reduced. The whole of the increase took place in the early months of this year when that reduction was in force. The duty has now been restored, and the rate of import is now the same as it was last year.