HC Deb 25 February 1936 vol 309 cc227-30

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he is aware of the great decline in carpet exports to Denmark owing to the reduction from 50 per cent. to 30 per cent. in licences granted, and that the result of this action is that in many cases no further British carpets can be purchased until May; and what action he proposes to take in the matter?

(2) whether he has any information regarding the negotiations between the Danish and German Governments with the objects of increasing the importation of German carpets into Denmark; and whether, in view of the serious effects upon British carpet exports to Denmark which have resulted from past trade arrangements with that country, he will give special attention to the position of the carpet trade in the negotiations for a new British-Danish trade treaty?


No information more specific than that which has appeared in the Press is available as to the provisions of the recent agreement between Denmark and Germany, but I am making further inquiries. I am aware that reductions have recently been made by the Danish authorities in the volume of import licences for United Kingdom carpets and representations have been


The question referred to factories in Great Britain and Wales, and they are given under separate headings.

Following is the redly:

addressed to the Danish Government. The matter will be taken up in the forth- coming discussions with representatives of the Danish Government. I would point out, however, that according to United Kingdom trade statistics exports of carpets from the United Kingdom to Denmark have increased from 180,000 square yards in 1933 to 258,000 square yards in 1935.


Will the right hon. Gentleman at the same time ascertain whether it is not the case that pending negotiations for a treaty of this kind between Denmark and Germany, Germany has, in fact, received much more favourable treatment from Denmark than Denmark is giving this country, whose exports to Denmark are falling off?


I will make further inquiries.


Has the right hon. Gentleman considered whether the Danish Government, in restricting imports from this country in this manner, are not basing themselves on their own misleading case?

16. Mr. H. G. WILLIAMS

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he is aware that the exports from Great Britain to Denmark, including re-exports, for the nine month. ended September, 1935, are recorded in the Trade and Navigation Returns as being of a value of £10,942,000, whereas the imports into Denmark from the United Kingdom in the same period are recorded in the Foreign Trade and Commerce Accounts as being of a value of £15,945,000, based upon the mean rate of exchange quoted therein; and how this discrepancy of £5,000,000 arises?


As the reply what long, I will circulate it OFFICIAL REPORT.

Following is the reply:

The discrepancy in question is the following causes:—

  1. (1) The imports are valued c.i.f., while the exports are valued f.o.b.
  2. (2) There is a time-lag between export and import.
  3. (3) The application of an average rate of exchange to the aggregate value of the trade over the whole period in question instead of the actual rates ruling when the individual entries were recorded in the Trade Returns.
  4. (4) The recorded value of imports into Denmark from the United Kingdom relates to goods purchased here while the value of the exports from the United Kingdom relates only to goods consigned from this country to Denmark.


asked the President of the Board of Trade when he will have an opportunity of making known to this House the terms of the new agreement with Denmark; and whether, in framing these terms, he will bear in mind the way Denmark is treating the present one?


Negotiations will be opened very shortly. The answer to the second part of the question is in the affirmative.


In view of the dissatisfaction which has been expressed at the way the agreements have been carried out, can the right lion. Gentleman explain what he proposes to do in the new one?


I have under notice many of the comments which my hon. Friend has in mind.


Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that the restrictions imposed by the Ministry of Agriculture on imports of bacon and butter from Denmark are half the trouble?


So far as I know, they have nothing to do with it.


In view of the dissatisfaction in Denmark, before concluding a new agreement with regard to the quota of sea fish, will the right hon. Gentleman study the new report which has been issued by the Sea Fish Commission?


I hope that opportunity will arise.