HC Deb 22 June 1936 vol 313 cc1412-4
30. Mr. H. G. WILLIAMS

asked the President of the Board of Trade what progress has been made in the negotiations for an agreement to continue in force the commercial agreement with Denmark of 24th April, 1933?


I am glad to inform the House that the negotiations with the Danish Government resulted in the signature last Friday, 19th June, of a supplementary agreement, to continue in force, subject to four months' notice of denunciation by either party, the Agreement of 24th April, 1933. The Danish Government now undertake to make an allocation of licences which will represent an appreciable increase in the import of United Kingdom goods into Denmark.


Are we to understand that the extension of the trade agreement for four months will prevent during that period the possibility of dealing with the difficult position of British agriculture?


We have been able to negotiate an agreement that can be denounced on short notice on either side, and the agreement, as I understand it, can be denounced by four months' notice to-morrow.


My hon. and gallant Friend did not understand my, point, which was that the agreement ran out on Saturday, and we are therefore free to-day to make further arrangements for agriculture. Do I understand that, as a result of this agreement, any further arrangements for agriculture are postponed for at least four months?



Lieut.-Colonel ACLAND-TROYTE

As this agreement is very detrimental to agriculture, does the hon. and gallant Gentleman realise that there is very keen disappointment throughout the agricultural industry?


If my hon. and gallant Friend would take into account that this is a temporary agreement to carry on with, I do not think he would be so disappointed.


Has anything been done to insert a Clause in this agreement respecting the use of British ships?

Captain DOWER

Will the House have an opportunity of discussing the trade agreement between this country and Denmark, before the terms of it are put before the House?


Is not Denmark a friendly country, anxious to trade with us?


asked the President of the Board of Trade whether his attention has been drawn to the difficulties of Lincoln, and manufacturers in other cities, in obtaining licences to allow British goods to be supplied to Denmark; and whether, in negotiations with the Danish Government, he anticipates that British manufacturers will be placed in a more favourable situation in future?


I am aware of the difficulties which manufacturers in Lincoln and other cities have experienced in obtaining licences for the import of their goods into Denmark. With regard to the second part of the question, I would refer my hon. Friend to the answer I have just given to my hon. Friend the Member for South Croydon (Mr. H. G. Williams).


Is the hon. and gallant Gentleman aware of the difficulties being experienced by Lincoln firms, and will he take steps to urge the Danish authorities to grant import licences in respect of all orders already placed with Lincoln firms and which they are in grave danger of losing?


We are aware, as I said in my answer, of the difficulties, but I can tell my hon. Friend that, as a result of the supplementary agreement, Lincoln firms will have a much better chance than they had before of exporting to Denmark.


Will the hon. Gentleman explain how the Danes can be expected to buy agricultural machines in Lincoln if we refuse to take their agricultural produce?


I think my hon. Friend had better ask the Danes.

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