HC Deb 29 July 1932 vol 267 c1788

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether any provisional reciprocal arrangements have been arrived at between any of the Colonies and the Mother Country pending confirmation at Ottawa; and, if so, whether he will enumerate them?


The arrangements arrived at between Colonial Governments and His Majesty's Government in the United Kingdom for preferential tariff treatment are not provisional and do not require confirmation at Ottawa. In an answer given on the 13th April last, of which I am sending my hon. Friend a copy, I gave a full list of the Colonial preferences which had been approved or brought into force up to that date. Since the date of that reply a preferential tariff has been introduced in the Straits Settlements which is similar to that of the Federated Malay States, and the High Commissioner has also reported that a similar enactment is being considered in the Unfederated Malay State of Johore. A preferential tariff has also been introduced in the Turks and Caicos Islands under which the British Empire receives a preference ranging from one-quarter to the whole of the duty. As regards Ceylon, the position is that the State Council recently passed a resolution in favour of the principle of Imperial Preference on a reciprocal basis, and detailed proposals for the establishment of a system of preferential duties are now under consideration of the Ceylon Government.


In view of the preference given on tea in this country, will the right hon. Gentleman press the matter of preference in Ceylon?


I pressed it a long time ago, but, as my hon. Friend is aware, under the Constitution of Ceylon my powers are limited.