Goatskins (Import Duty)

Oral Answers to Questions — Trade and Commerce – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 30 April 1959.

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Photo of Mr Arthur Holt Mr Arthur Holt , Bolton West 12:00, 30 April 1959

asked the President of the Board of Trade if he will remove the import duty on foreign raw goatskins.

Photo of Mr David Eccles Mr David Eccles , Chippenham

No, Sir. On 16th March an application for the removal of this duty was rejected in order to preserve the Commonwealth preference.

Photo of Mr Arthur Holt Mr Arthur Holt , Bolton West

Does not the President of the Board of Trade agree that it is unreasonable to keep this duty on if supplies from the Commonwealth have in fact gone to other countries and are not now available to this country? Why, therefore, will he not agree to remove this duty so that the industry can buy its raw material at less cost from some other source?

Photo of Mr David Eccles Mr David Eccles , Chippenham

The preference margin is of importance to the Commonwealth and it is in fact guaranteed to India, Pakistan and South Africa. We cannot break these guarantees without expecting to pay something very large in exchange, and I do not think it would be a good policy to do so.