HC Deb 08 May 1922 vol 153 cc1793-5
64 Mr. A. M. SAMUEL

asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Overseas Trade Department (1) whether the Brazilian Government accords to certain countries a preference in import duties to the detriment of British goods: if so, whether he has protested to the Brazilian Government and with what result; what further steps does he propose to take;

(2) whether His Majesty's Government has expressed a wish that British manufacturers should send exhibits of their goods to the Brazilian Centenary Exhibition at Rio de Janeiro; if so, whether he has succeeded in getting a relaxation of the prohibitory duties, charged by Brazil against British productions which will prevent us selling our goods to Brazil from our exhibits at Rio; if not, what commercial object is served by incurring expense to send exhibits in such circumstances;

(3) whether His Majesty's Government is incurring any expense in connection with the Brazilian Centenary Exhibition at Rio de Janeiro; and, if so, what is their purpose?


In reply to the first question, I would refer to the answers which I gave to the hon. and gallant Member for Central Wandsworth (Sir J. Norton-Griffiths) on 23rd March and 3rd and 10th April. As regards the second and third questions, the subject was debated on 23rd February on the Supplementary Estimate for the Department of Overseas Trade, and I would also refer to the answers given on 23rd March to the hon. and gallant Member for Central Wandsworth. As regards the suggestion that the Brazilian Customs Duties are prohibitory, it should be observed that we exported manufactured goods to Brazil during 1920 to the value of 22½ millions sterling. It is true that in the case of a few articles we do not enjoy the tariff preference accorded to the United States and Belgium; and, as I said on a previous occasion, advantage will be taken of any opportunity which may occur in the future of re-opening this matter with the Brazilian Government with any prospect of success.


Is my right hon. Friend in a position to state whether or not Brazil is one of our best customers, in spite of the tariffs which are imposed against us?


I believe that is so.

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