HC Deb 12 November 1929 vol 231 c1703
25. Mr. BENSON

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he is aware that the International Customs Tariffs Bureau, Brussels, the object of which is to give the latest information on tariffs and tariff changes, is unable, owing to inadequate financial resources and staff, to publish the tariffs of many countries without great delay; and whether, in view of this fact and of the importance of accurate knowledge of tariffs to everyone engaged in our ex port trade, the Government will take such steps as may be necessary to enable the International Customs Tariffs Bureau to do this work more efficiently than is at present the case?


I am aware that there is frequently considerable delay in the publication of Customs tariffs by the Bureau, but that body, nevertheless, per forms a very useful function in publishing the tariffs of the different countries in a number of languages for purposes of reference. I would explain that the Bureau does not aim at meeting the day-to-day requirements of traders and could, indeed, not do so without an increase of staff and consequent large increase of expenditure, such as the several contracting States would not be likely to consider justified. For up-to-date information our traders must, I suggest, continue to rely on the detailed particulars published every week in the Board of Trade Journal, supplemented, where necessary, by inquiry of the Department of Overseas Trade.