HC Deb 21 April 1936 vol 311 cc9-11
10. Mr. H. G. WILLIAMS

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he proposes to denounce the trade agreement with the Argentine Republic on 7th May, 1936?

15. Captain DOWER

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he intends to give the six months' notice to determine the Anglo-Argentine Trade Agreement on 6th May?

The PRESIDENT of the BOARD of TRADE (Mr. Runciman)

The revision of the Anglo-Argentine Trade Agreement is at present the subject of informal discussion with the Argentine Government, and I am, therefore, unable to make any statement in regard to its future.


Is the right hon. Gentleman prepared, as a precaution, to give notice of denunciation on 7th May so that we shall be perfectly free six months later to do as we think fit?


Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that the balance of trade is definitely against this country under the agreement now in force, and would he not have very much better bargaining power if he denounced the treaty so as to get a free hand for the future?


Is not the percentage of trade to the advantage of Britain?

Captain DOWER

When will the right hon. Gentleman be in a position to tell the House whether notice to terminate the agreement will be given?


I cannot say at present. Informal discussions are proceeding now.

14. Rear - Admiral Sir MURRAY SUETER

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he will, prior to the negotiations for an Anglo-Argentine trade agreement, make it clear to the Argentine authorities that proposals for the relaxation of the harsh treatment of British commercial investments in Argentina will be considered solely on their merits by His Majesty's Government and not as constituting a claim by Argentina for favoured treatment towards Argentine meat?


I will keep in mind the suggestion of my hon. and gallant Friend.


Will the right hon. Gentleman realise that the Argentine cannot possibly pay interest on our investments unless we allow their goods to come into this country?

18. Captain DOWER

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he has any information to give the House with regard to our long-term livestock policy and the discussions with the Argentine Government on the proposals put forward by His Majesty's Government?


Informal discussions are now proceeding with representatives of the Argentine Government, but I am not at present in a position to make a statement.

Captain DOWER

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that the cattle industry considers that it was extremely badly treated in the last trade agreement, and can they he assured that their interests will have greater consideration in any new agreement?


There is constant consultation proceeding between the Minister of Agriculture and the Board of Trade on this and other cognate subjects.

Captain DOWER

Can the right hon. Gentleman hold out any hope?


Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that delay is causing untold injury to the whole industry?


We are proceeding according to programme.