HC Deb 13 November 1934 vol 293 cc1743-4

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether any treaties or agreements exist between Great Britain and foreign or Dominion countries which preclude countervailing duties being imposed on agricultural products sold in Great Britain at a less price than in the country of origin?


Yes, Sir. Countervailing duties of the kind suggested are precluded by numerous treaties and arrangements with foreign countries. It is generally provided in these instruments that we shall both give and enjoy the right to the admission of all goods at rates of duty no higher than those applied to any other foreign country. As regards the Dominions, I would remind my right hon. Friend that under the Ottawa Agreements the Dominions concerned enjoy entry free of duty into this country for practically all their agricultural products.


Will the Government consider putting on countervailing duties in order to prevent having to subsidise farmers to save them from bankruptcy?


I am afraid the Government cannot depart from the usual procedure in the matter, which provides for cases of this kind.