HC Deb 04 March 1929 vol 226 c15
31. Lord FERMOY

asked the Minister of Agriculture whether his attention has been called to the fact that the German tariff on imported English potatoes was last month raised from one reichmark to four reichmarks per kilo, whereas the rate on imported Dutch potatoes still continues at one reichmark; and whether, in view of the effect thereby entailed on British trade, he will make inquiries as to the reason for such differential treatment?


I have been asked to reply. My Noble Friend's question is based on a misunderstanding of the facts. The rates of Customs Duty applicable to potatoes imported into Germany are:

Rm. per 100 Kilogs.
From 1st August to 14th February 1
From 15th February to 31st March 4
From 1st April to 31st July

The German tariff provides, however, that potatoes gathered before 1st December may be imported from the following 15th February to 15th April at a reduced duty of 1 Rm. per 100 kilogs. when coming from countries which have made special arrangements with Germany as to the acceptance of certificates proving the date of gathering of such potatoes. Such arrangements have been made by various countries, including the Netherlands, Belgium, Denmark and Malta, but as potatoes are not normally exported from this country to Germany there has been no occasion to conclude a similar arrangement applying to British potatoes. I understand, however, that a case has now arisen where such an arrangement would have been of benefit to a British exporter, and I am, therefore, taking the matter up with a view to securing the application of the reduced duty to potatoes from this country during the period in question.