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These Amendments draw attention to an objectionable aspect of the Bill—the retrospective legislation. I want to return to the question of the importation of yarn from overseas. In every case, contracts for goods now arriving at the docks will have been placed many months if not years ago. As my hon. Friend the Member for Ormskirk (Sir D. Glover) has said, firms operating on close budgets will have made their financial arrangements for many months ahead and the 50 per cent. deposit can put all their plans out of action.
I will quote from a letter I received from another firm in my constituency:
We import a certain amount of yarn from the Continent because it is impossible to get
deliveries in the United Kingdom. The yarn is used for materials that we then export. This infamous deposit will probably mean that we cannot get this yarn and that we will therefore lose our export business in this type of cloth.
I hope that by the time we get to the Schedule the Government will have had another look at the question of including yarns and more semi-processed materials in the Schedule, because I have given two examples tonight of export business built up against considerable competition from Japan and other countries which will be in jeopardy if firms operating on small budgets are unable to find 50 per cent. deposits and therefore have to stop this type of manufacture.
The Board of Trade have all the relative figures of the amount of yarn imported, what types of yarn they are, whether they are available in this country. They will know that invariably they are not, and that firms importing these materials only do so because they cannot get them in the home market.
I hope that by the time we get to a later stage, the Government will make these items free of deposit.