HC Deb 19 June 1934 vol 291 cc183-4

asked the President of the Board of Trade the present position in the negotiations for a trade agreement with France?


A trade agreement between the two countries was initialled on Saturday, the 16th. It is expected that this will be signed very shortly, and that the arrangements embodied in it will then be brought provisionally into force pending ratification. I am not in a position to give detailed information in regard to the agreement pending its signature, but I may say that it will result, amongst other things, in the restoration to this country of her full share of the French import quotas, and in the withdrawal of the 20 per cent. Surtax on certain French goods imposed in this country by the Order of the 9th February last. Discussions are also being set on foot for the conclusion of a further agreement regarding the treatment of persons and companies and other miscellaneous questions.

Lieut. - Colonel ACLAND - TROYTE

Can the right hon. Gentleman assure us that in making this agreement the Interests of agriculturists have not once more been given away?


Can the right hon. Gentleman make any statement with regard to the artificial silk position in this Trade Agreement?


No, Sir. I cannot make any further statement than the one I have read to the House.


Will the agreement be published as soon as it is signed?


Yes, immediately it is signed. The hon. and gallant Member for Tiverton (Lieut.-Colonel Acland-Troyte) is not justified in saying that we have given away any national interest. We have guarded them all.