HC Deb 28 February 1928 vol 214 c192

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether his attention has been drawn to the new French customs duties; and whether the Government will consider the conclusion of a new Franco-British treaty which the British Chamber of Commerce in Paris has been urging for many years on the lines of those agreed upon with other nations who were in active commercial relations with France?


The answer to the first part of the question is in the affirmative. Particulars with regard to the changes in the French Tariff resulting from the Franco-German and Franco-Swiss Agreements have already been published in the Board of Trade Journal, and particulars of further changes proposed in the new French Government measure will be included in the Journal to be published next Thursday. As regards the second part of the question, there is a Franco-British Treaty of Commerce already in operation, whilst most-favoured-nation treatment is accorded to United Kingdom goods in France by French legislation. Representations have been addressed to the French Government in regard to recent changes in the customs tariff in so far as they involve increased duties upon goods imported from this country. But I would point out that so long as our customs duties in this country are few in number and designed mainly for revenue purposes, we are hardly in a position to conclude treaties such as those to which the hon. Member refers, based on lengthy schedules of mutual tariff concessions.