§ Mr. RAMSDEN
(by Private Notice) asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he is aware that the recent action of the Spanish Government in increasing their Customs duties on various commodities and in restricting the import of others, will have a very serious effect on the export trade of this country, and whether he has made representations to this effect to that Government and also whether, if these representations are unsuccessful, he will consider the advisability of taking steps to prevent certain Spanish products entering this country?
§ The PRESIDENT of the BOARD of TRADE (Sir P. Cunliffe-Lister)
The Spanish Government by a Decree of 9th July increased the duties payable on the importation of certain goods, mainly textiles, metals and machinery. These increases will not, so far as United Kingdom goods are concerned, apply to 253 such of the goods as are specifically included in the schedules to the Anglo-Spanish Commercial Treaty and other commercial treaties in force. The restrictions on import, which are imposed by the same Decree, mainly effect iron and steel goods, and strong representations have been addressed to the Spanish Government against the restrictions which, in the opinion of His Majesty's Government, are in conflict with the spirit of our Treaty. The Spanish Government on 6th and 12th August, and 8th September, issued Decrees somewhat mitigating the rigour of these restrictions, but I am still awaiting a reply to our general representations and shall consider what action may be possible in the light of the reply.
§ Captain WEDGWOOD BENN
Has the Government considered the effect on the fiscal policy of other countries of the adoption of this piecemeal Protection by this country?
§ Sir P. CUNLIFFE-LISTER
I am quite satisfied that any action His Majesty's Government has taken, whether in the direction of treaties outside or of industries in this country, has been good.