§ 31. Sir William Davison
asked the President of the Board of Trade what is the tariff on toys from Great Britain entering the United States of America; and what is the tariff charged in respect of similar toys entering Great Britain from the United States of America?
Toys on importation into the United States of America are subject to Customs duties at rates varying from 1 cent. each plus 50 per cent. ad valorem, to 90 per cent. ad valorem. Toys imported into the United Kingdom from foreign countries are subject to import duty at the rate of 15 per cent. or, if they contain more than 10 per cent. of rubber or celluloid, at the rate of 25 per cent. ad valorem.
§ Sir W. Davison
Will my right hon. Friend see that there is some reciprocity in regard to the duties on toys coming into this country and toys going from this country to the United States?
§ Mr. E. Smith
Are not questions of this character to be deprecated while delicate negotiations are taking place between Great Britain and the United States of America, in view of the need for the maximum amount of economic co-operation?
I am sure that my hon. Friend who put this question down had no such motive in his mind at all, and I am sure that all hon. Members will have the same feeling at the back of their minds. I cannot feel that a question which just draws attention to a disparity in duties as between countries would have that effect.
§ Mr. Wedgwood Benn
Is it not a fact that the obstacle to understanding comes from the benches opposite?
§ 33. Mr. Crossley
asked the President of the Board of Trade what proportion of British exports to the United States of America are admitted free of duty; and what is the proportion of United States exports to Great Britain so admitted?
I would refer my hon. Friend to the replies given on 10th November to the hon. Member for Croydon, South (Mr. H. G. Williams). On the basis of the figures then given, the proportions were 45 and 32 per cent. respectively in 1935.
§ 39. Mr. Petherick
asked the President of the Board of Trade whether the Empire Cotton Growing Federation has been, or will he, consulted in connection with the projected commercial agreement with the United States of America?
As I explained during the Debate on the Address, the discussions with the United States of America, with the object of finding a basis of negotiation for a trade agreement, are still in an informal and exploratory stage. If negotiations are opened, I shall be glad to take into consideration any representations on the subject that the Empire Cotton Growing Corporation may wish to place before me.
§ 40. Mr. Petherick
asked the President of the Board of Trade the figures for the balance of trade between the United Kingdom and the United States of America for 1936, 1935, and 1929, taking invisible exports into consideration?
In the absence of reliable data in respect of many of the invisible items, I am unable to furnish the information asked for.
55. Captain Arthur Evans
asked the President of the Board of Trade what is the present position of the negotiations for the trade agreement with the United States of America; and whether the Secretaries of State for the Dominions and the Colonies will be consulted before any commitments are made?
I would refer my hon. and gallant Friend to the statement which I made in the Debate on the Address, to which at present I have nothing to add. The answer to the second part of the question is in the affirmative.