WOOL IN BRITAIN
PROPOSED IMPORT LEVY DESCRIBED AS FAXTASTIC N.Z.P.A. Special Correspondent. Rec. 10 a.m. LONDON, July IS. A remarkable suggestion that all wool imported into the United Kingdom should pay an import duty up to 3d per lb in order to subsidise British sheep-farming has been placed by the Association of Landowners before the Government committee which is investigating schemes for post-war marketing of Britain's homegrown wool. In Bradford trade circles this scheme has been described as "fantastic" and "ingenuous," and responsible commercial quarters believe that the adoption of any such proposals may be regarded as highly improbable. Without going into the question of whether further assistance is needed by British wool-growers—as the price already paid by the Government for the British wool clip embodies a subsidy for the grower—the wool-consuming trades of Britain contend that if sucli assistance is needed it is impracticable to provide it by means of a duty on imported wool. It is true the scheme suggests that if the imported wool is exported again it should receive a rebate. The wool duty would then be paid onlv on the wool actually used for British consumption, but it is pointed out in woolusing circles that any suggestion of a levy for this purpose on wool entering Britain is completely contrary to the official policy now in practice. The position in Britain to-day is that imported wool for internal civilian use, far from paying a levy or import duty, actually received the equivalent of a subsidy from official funds in the interests of keeping down the British civilian cost of living.
Clothing Subsidised Imported wool is released to British manufacturers for home civil use at a price relatively less than that at which the United Kingdom Government is buying the Dominion clips. In other words, the British civilian consumer Is not yet having to pay the full Empire wool price when he buys his clothes. In fact, the price of wool clothing in Britain embodies more than one subsidy in interests of obviating an increase in the public cost the United Kingdom Government would go to the other extreme and after subsidising wool to the British public would make them pay an import duty on it amounting—on the average pre-war prices—to 25 or 30 per cent, is unthinkable to the commercial mind here. Bradford cannot conceive that any planning for Britain's home-grown wool will ever embody any handicap for imported wool. One of Britain's most important manufacturing industries depends on Dominion wool, and its free entry is essential to Britain and to Dominion prosperity.
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WOOL IN BRITAIN, Auckland Star, Volume LXXVI, Issue 169, 19 July 1945
WOOL IN BRITAIN Auckland Star, Volume LXXVI, Issue 169, 19 July 1945
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