50 Years Ago: Lancashire Textiles and Chinese Competition


Lancashire Textiles and Chinese Competition, 1908

“Mr. Theodore C. Taylor, M.P., recently visited Japan and China, and, as a result of his investigations, he urges that if we (i.e., British capitalists) are to retain our hold upon the world’s markets, our aim must be better work and more work in the time, to correspond with the shorter hours we now work. As yet, he says, it is mainly in coarse counts that China and Japan compete with Lancashire, but he sees nothing to prevent their spinning finer counts as well.”
(From the SOCIALIST STANDARD, Feb., 1908).

Lancashire Textiles and Chinese Competition, 1958

For the first time for 200 years Britain is buying more cotton textiles from foreign lands than Lancashire is exporting for sale overseas. So says Roger Malcolm Lee, chief of the mighty Lancashire Cotton Corporation, who tells shareholders that imports are now exceeding exports because of cheap cloth coming in from India, Hong Kong, Pakistan, and China.

“Latterly,” he says, “imports from China have attained alarming proportions.”

Sales of Chinese cloth are made at prices “unrelated to actual costs of production.” They are obviously made “at political prices” he says.
(From the Daily Express, 31 December, 1957.)

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