Warsaw (Oct. 20)
A great deal of anxiety was caused at the beginning of this month in the textile industry of Lodz, Bialystock and other centres of the Polish industry, which is largely in Jewish hands, by the news of the fall in the value of the English pound, and it was feared that in consequence there would be a drop in the big export trade from these places in ready-made clothing to England. Some of the factories in Bialystock had already begun to close down and dismiss their workers.
The export trade in ready-made clothing has had a set-back mainly because the contracts which are still in hand were concluded in Pounds, so that the exporters are losing about 20 per cent, on account of the fall in the value of sterling.
The export trade in ready-made clothing, and especially of woollen goods to England is, nevertheless, being continued, and is unexpectedly increasing. The Lodz Chamber of Commerce has been officially investigating this question of the export trade to Great Britain, and has presented the following report:
Notwithstanding the fact that there has been a fall in the prices of the goods, Lodz exported a great quantity of these goods to Great Britain in the month of August, and there was a further increase in September. Britain is now the largest importer of woollen goods and ready-made clothing produced in the Lodz industrial area. Woollen goods have been exported to Great Britain to a value of 2,200,000 zlotys, which is about 65 per cent. of the entire export from Lodz, and the amount of ready-made clothing exported to Great Britain is 81 per cent. of the total export, amounting in September to a sum of 2,200,000 zlotys. At the same time, the Lodz manufacturers have had practically no losses on account of the fall of the pound. The British importers think it likely that Britain may impose a protective tariff, and the Lodz manufacturers and exporters of ready-made clothing have therefore added to their prices for the goods which they are producing under the contracts concluded months ago, 10 per cent. on woollen goods and 15 per cent. on ready-made clothing.
At the present time, when the populations of most of the Jewish towns and townships in Poland are in a critical economic plight, the town of Brzeszin, which in 1926 was practically starving because the entire population, almost exclusively engaged in the tailoring industry was unemployed, is full of bustle and animation. The town is flooded with orders and everyone is at work, as in the days before the war, when the town was busy producing huge consignments of ready-made clothing for the Russian market.