HC Deb 17 February 1931 vol 248 cc1051-3
78. Mr. HANNON

asked the President of the Board of Trade if he can make any statement on the recent proposals made by His Majesty's Government to certain foreign countries for a reduction of import duties on various categories of goods?


These proposals embrace, in the case of each country, the articles of principal interest to British trade, and at the present stage must be regarded as confidential. I may, however, state that the general line followed has been to ask for a consolidation of existing duties where they are already low, and in most cases where they are substantial for a reduction of 25 per cent. in the rates. Proposals on these lines have now been sent to the Governments of Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Poland and Switzerland.


Can the hon. Gentleman indicate to the House whether any favourable replies on this question have been received from any of these countries?


I think it is too early to give that information.

The following STATEMENT shows the quantity of coal imported into the undermentioned countries during each of the years 1927 to 1930, distinguisbing the principal sources of supply, so far as the information is available from the trade returns of the respective countries.
1927. 1928. 1929. 1930.
1,000 tons. 1,000 tons. 1,000 tons. 1,000 tons.
Imports for Consumption 16,685 15,362 16,254 15,686(a)
Of which from:
United States 15,866 14,746 15,396 14,442(a)
United Kingdom 810 610 753 978(a)
Total Imports 891 924 958 (b)
Of which from:
Great Britain and Ireland 567 379 467
Poland and Dantzig 200 445 383
Germany 99 92 94
Total Imports 2,206 2,089 2,397 2,239
Of which from:
United Kingdom 1,606 1,113 1,472 (b)
Poland and Dantzig 215 687 673
Spitzbergen 262 251 204
Imports for Consumption 4,790 4,004 4,915 4,694
Of which from:
United Kingdom 2,207 1,523 2,326 (b)
Poland and Dantzig 1,248 1,416 1,637
Germany 1,317 1,058 927
(a) January to November, 1930. (b) Not yet available.