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Tourism (American Restrictions)

Oral Answers to Questions — Board of Trade – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 13th March 1968.

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Photo of Mr David Crouch Mr David Crouch , Canterbury 12:00 am, 13th March 1968

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he is now able to quantify the financial effect on the British tourist industry of the taxes proposed by the United States administration on American tourists' overseas expenditure.

Photo of Mr Willie Hamilton Mr Willie Hamilton , Fife West

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.

Photo of Mr Anthony Crosland Mr Anthony Crosland , Grimsby

In the absence of precise information about the tax and other measures that may be adopted in the United States, I can make no estimate.

Photo of Mr David Crouch Mr David Crouch , Canterbury

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?

Photo of Mr Anthony Crosland Mr Anthony Crosland , Grimsby

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.

Photo of Mr Alfred Hall-Davis Mr Alfred Hall-Davis , Morecambe and Lonsdale

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?

Photo of Mr Anthony Crosland Mr Anthony Crosland , Grimsby

There is a Question about the hotel industry and possible Government aid for it later on the Order Paper.