§ 43. Sir ROBERT HUTCHISON
asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he is aware that the Italian Government exercises discriminatory treatment between French brandy and Scottish whisky in favour of the former; whether Scottish whisky is entitled to the benefit of the Most-favoured Nation Treaty Clause; and whether he is prepared to make representations to the Italian Government on the subject?
§ Mr. DOUGLAS HACKING (Secretary, Overseas Trade Department)
I am aware that lower duties are levied in Italy on brandy than on whisky, but as these are regarded by the Italian Government as distinct articles, I do not think that representations based on the Most-favoured Nation Clause would serve any useful purpose.
§ Sir R. HUTCHISON
Is it not a great injustice to a product of my country that it is now receiving unfair treatment from the Italian Government, and could not some representations be made either by the Board of Trade or the Foreign Office in regard to the conditions?
§ Mr. HACKING
I have said that they are two distinct articles, as the hon. and gallant Member knows. One is made from malt and the other from grapes. The hon. and gallant Member probably knows which is which. They are distinct articles. We cannot expect the same treatment as if they were the same thing and of the same nature.
§ Sir H. CROFT
In spite of the fact that they are distinct articles, could not representations be made?
§ Mr. HACKING
No, Sir. Under the Treaty with Italy we do get the most-favoured nation treatment. We are getting the most-favoured nation treatment on all articles exported there.
§ Mr. HORE-BELiSHA
Is the hon. Member not aware that although they are two distinct articles they have the same effect?