22 MARCH 1935, Page 2

More Protection for Steel ?

If we had no other evidence that there is something very wrong indeed with the British steel industry it would be furnished by its own complaint that it is unable to compete against imports from Belgium and France (alleged to be dumped) in spite of the double protection afforded by a 381 per cent, duty and a monetary exchange highly unfavourable to the foreign exporters. Where is this to stop ? Not, clearly at 33i, for the Import Duties Advisory Committee has just increased that in various cases to 50 per cent. —and this in spite of the fact that the reorganization scheme has notoriously done little to remove inefficiency. Such an increased obstacle to ex- ports from Belgium May prove the last straw so far as that country is concerned, and force her off gold. In that event, losing the protection of our devalued cnrrency, are we to expect the steel industry to ask for a 100 per cent: tariff, and that this again will be granted by a complaisant Government ? As a creditor nation we are doing pre- cisely what we criticize in the United States—refusing to take payment in goods.