Import Surcharge

Oral Answers to Questions — Board of Trade – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 29th April 1965.

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Photo of Mr Michael Alison Mr Michael Alison , Barkston Ash 12:00 am, 29th April 1965

asked the President of the Board of Trade what evidence he now has as to the extent to which the 15 per cent. surcharge has reduced imports in the categories affected.

Photo of Mr Edward Redhead Mr Edward Redhead , Walthamstow West

The import figures for the first quarter of 1965 provide evidence that the temporary import charge has had sortie effect in reducing imports.

Photo of Mr Michael Alison Mr Michael Alison , Barkston Ash

Is the hon. Gentleman aware that the import figures of manufactured goods for the first quarter of 1965 show a 16 per cent. increase over the corresponding period of 1964?

Photo of Mr Edward Redhead Mr Edward Redhead , Walthamstow West

The hon. Gentleman's conclusions and deductions from printed statistics do not concur with mine.

Photo of Mr Anthony Barber Mr Anthony Barber , Altrincham and Sale

The hon. Gentleman will, I am sure, agree that the reduction of imports in March was greater in goods which were not subject to the surcharge?

Photo of Mr Edward Redhead Mr Edward Redhead , Walthamstow West

That is true, but nevertheless manufactured goods have shown a reduction in the import figures.

Photo of Mr Richard Kelley Mr Richard Kelley , Don Valley

Will my hon. Friend take into consideration when any future announcement of a reduction of surcharge is likely to be made that advanced warnings will have a tendency to suppress the enthusiasm of importers to go into business?

Photo of Mr Edward Redhead Mr Edward Redhead , Walthamstow West

I can only say that all relevant considerations will be taken into consideration.

Photo of Mr William Clark Mr William Clark , Nottingham South

In view of the fact that when this import surcharge was introduced it was thought that there would be a saving of £200 million in imports in one year, will the hon. Gentleman say whether the record to date gives any indication that that will be achieved?

Photo of Mr Edward Redhead Mr Edward Redhead , Walthamstow West

The hon. Member will appreciate that the effects of the charge cannot be separated from other influences affecting imports.