HC Deb 26 February 1936 vol 309 cc450-1

asked the President of the Board of Trade with which foreign countries trade negotiations are now taking place or contemplated; whether any such negotiations with the United States of America are likely to take place in the near future; and whether he will provide a list of those countries with which no trade negotiations of any kind have taken place since 1931?

Captain EUAN WALLACE (Secretary, Overseas Trade Department)

Commercial negotiations are taking place with Peru and arrangements have been made for further discussions with Denmark. The Government, following their declared policy, have under constant review the possibility of negotiating trade agreements with foreign countries. Informal exchanges of views have taken place from time to time with the United States of America, with the object of ascertaining whether a basis exists for negotiations but these exchanges have so far been of a purely exploratory nature. In reply to the last part of the question, I think that my hon. Friend's purpose will best be served by circulating in the OFFICIAL REPORT a list of foreign countries with which trade and payments agreements have been concluded since 1931.


Is it not a fact that 15 months ago, in answer to a question put by me, it was indicated that an agreement with Peru was about to be entered upon? Does it take 15 months to make any progress?


No, the 15 months have been taken up in making the agreement.


Can my hon. and gallant Friend assure us that if there are any negotiations with the United States, one of the conditions will be that they will stop by subsidies driving the British Mercantile Marine off the Pacific Ocean?

Following are the countries:

Argentina. Netherlands.
Brazil. Norway.
Denmark. Poland.
Estonia. Rumania.
Finland. Spain.
France. Sweden.
Germany. Turkey.
Hungary. Uruguay.
Iceland. Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.