Machine Tools

Oral Answers to Questions — Trade and Commerce – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 21st January 1958.

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Photo of Mr Francis Bowles Mr Francis Bowles , Nuneaton 12:00 am, 21st January 1958

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he will make a statement about the amount of sterling spent abroad by firms in this country on the purchase of machine tools.

Photo of Mr John Vaughan-Morgan Mr John Vaughan-Morgan , Reigate

United Kingdom imports of machine tools—excluding portable power tools—were valued at £21,800,000 in 1957. A separate figure for the amount of sterling paid in respect of these imports is not available.

Photo of Mr Francis Bowles Mr Francis Bowles , Nuneaton

Is not that Answer rather unsatisfactory from the point of view of British industry, in that so many of these machine tools have to be bought from abroad when, to my knowledge, there are industries in this country, particularly in the Midlands, which are able to supply them?

Photo of Mr John Vaughan-Morgan Mr John Vaughan-Morgan , Reigate

The hon. Member's Question related to payment in sterling. I would point out that, like other major countries, we are still very large net exporters of machine tools.