HC Deb 24 February 1936 vol 309 cc13-4
52. Mr. SANDYS

asked the Prime Minister whether the House will be given an opportunity to discuss the question of the renewal or modification of the AngloArgentine trade agreement before negotiations are opened for this purpose?

The PRIME MINISTER (Mr. Baldwin)

As has already been stated, the question of the future of the agreement referred to by my hon. Friend is under consideration. I fear I can give no undertaking that the Government will be able to afford a special opportunity for discussion.


Does the right hon. Gentleman not consider it right that the House of Commons should have an opportunity of discussing and reviewing the very far-reaching effects of this agreement upon home production and Empire trade, before renewing it for another period of years?


I think it will be obvious that my answer refers to discussion before negotiation. Discussion before negotiation, I think, would probably have a disastrous effect in any case of this kind. After negotiations, it is always open to the House, if it so desires, to discuss the matter, but it is not the usual practice to have such discussion before the negotiations have been entered upon.


Does the right hon. Gentleman not realise that discussion after the negotiations is not very much use?