68 and 69. Marquess of CLYDESDALE
asked the President of the Board of Trade (1) whether, in view of the considerable adverse balance of trade with the Argentine Republic, he will consider levying import duties on Argentine meat and possibly other foodstuffs imported into this country or, alternatively, taking measures to secure special privileged tariffs for British manufactured goods imported into the Argentine Republic, in view of the fact that Great Britain is the best customer of that country; and
(2) whether, in view of the fact that the existing arrangements under which meat and other foodstuffs are imported from the Argentine Republic free of duty come up for reconsideration next year and that Great Britain is the best customer for Argentine products, pressure can be brought to bear to secure special reduced tariffs for British manufactured goods imported into that country when new arrangements are made?
§ Mr. RUNCIMAN
The imposition of duties and quantitative limitations on Argentina's principal imports into the United Kingdom is governed by the Convention and Supplementary Agreement concluded with Argentina in 1933. In return for the undertakings given, the Argentine Government conceded reductions and consolidations of Customs duties affecting a wide range of products in which the United Kingdom has a predominant interest. That Government also gave undertakings whereby practically the whole of the sterling exchange arising from the sale of Argentine products in this country is being made available to meet United Kingdom requirements. The Convention and Agreement cannot be terminated by either side before November, 1936, and it would be premature to forecast the attitude of His Majesty's Government when they come up for review.