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asked the President of the Board of Trade what estimate has been made of the likely effects on the British tourist trade of the recently announced United States restrictions on foreign travel by United States citizens; and what steps are being taken to offset the likely adverse effects.
Is not there at least a rumour that the United States is considering dropping its tax on overseas tourist travel? Does not the right hon. Gentleman consider that there is a lesson for us that the positive way to solve our currency saving problem is to pursue a positive policy in regard to our tourist industry, rather than a negative policy restricting travel from this country?
I understand that the United States Administration has put certain proposals to the Ways and Means Committee of the House of Representatives, which considered the proposals recently and has now deferred consideration of them. On the latter part of the hon. Gentleman's supplementary question, I think that everybody looks forward to the earliest possible relaxation of the restrictions on overseas travel, but we want to get a surplus first, before deciding how to use it.
As the tourist industry is perhaps the only one where the customer enjoys the full direct benefit of the change in the exchange rate, is not there an urgent need for the right hon. Gentleman to implement the hotel and catering E.D.C. Report, particularly to put the hotel industry on the same tax basis as industrial manufacturing concerns?