HC Deb 19 December 1938 vol 342 cc2464-5
61. Mr. Sutcliffe

asked the Secretary to the Overseas Trade Department in what instances during the past 10 years there have been infringements of most-favourednation clauses in connection with trade agreements between foreign countries; and what protests have been made in each case by His Majesty's Government?

Mr. R. S. Hudson

The only case of any significance occurring during the period mentioned, in which trade agreements between foreign countries contained arrangements inconsistent with this country's most-favoured-nation rights, arose in 1934. Early in that year, the French Government reduced the import quotas allotted to foreign countries, including the United Kingdom, and then concluded a trade agreement with Belgium under which the latter country's quotas were restored to their original level. His Majesty's Government considered that this involved a discrimination in favour of Belgium contrary to their most-favoured-nation rights, and, not having received satisfaction as a result of representations, they applied a Surtax of 20 per cent. ad valorem to certain French goods by way of counter-discrimination. Negotiations followed, leading to the conclusion of the Anglo-French Trade Agreement of June, 1934, under which each side withdrew their discriminatory measures.

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