§ 38. Lieut.-Colonel HENEAGE
asked the President of the Board of Trade which commercial agreements at present prevent this country from imposing an import duty on newsprint and the date at which they can be terminated?
§ Mr. RUNCIMAN
As the reply is rather long, I will, with my hon. and gallant Friend's permission, circulate it in the OFFICIAL REPORT.
§ Following is the reply:
§ The trade agreements with Norway, Sweden, Finland, Estonia and Latvia include provisions for the entry free of duty into the United Kingdom of newsprint produced or manufactured in those countries. These Agreements can be terminated by six months' notice of denunciation expiring on or after the following dates:—
- Norway and Sweden: 7th July, 1936.
- Finland: 23rd November, 1936.
- Estonia and Latvia: 31st December, 1936.
§ In addition, the Ottawa Agreements provide for the entry free of duty of goods (including newsprint) consigned from any part of the British Empire and produced or manufactured in countries parties to those Agreements. They can be terminated by six months' notice of denunciation expiring on or after 20th August, 1937, except the Agreement with the Government of India, from whom notice of termination has already been received. Over 99 per cent. of the imports of newsprint from British countries are supplied by Newfoundland and Canada, and about 70 per cent. of our total imports come from British countries.
§ 39. Lieut.-Colonel HENEAGE
asked the President of the Board of Trade whether in future negotiations as to trade agreements and in negotiations concerning these agreements that are due to expire, he will safeguard the position of newsprint manufacturers in this country so that it may be possible to place a tariff on imported newsprint?
§ Mr. RUNCIMAN
The position of the United Kingdom newsprint industry will be carefully borne in mind in any negotiations for the revision of trade agreements.
§ Lieut.-Colonel HENEAGE
Will the right hon. Gentleman specially bear in mind that the places where newsprint is manufactured are mostly in the distressed areas or where there is a high incidence of unemployment, and that if anything can be done in the direction I have indicated it will be of great benefit to the newsprint industry and relieve unemployment