HC Deb 01 February 1938 vol 331 cc11-2
22. Mr. Mander

asked the President of the Board of Trade the position with regard to negotiations for a trade agreement with the United States of America?

29. Mr. Lewis

asked the President of tht Board of Trade whether he has any statement to make as to the progress of the negotiations for a trade agreement with the United States of America?

Mr. Stanley

On 8th January the United States Government issued an announcement giving notice of their intention to negotiate a trade agreement with the United Kingdom. This announcement marked a further definite step in the United States procedure of negotiation. His Majesty's Ambassador in Washington will be one of His Majesty's Government's delegates. The rest of the delegation will leave for Washington shortly to assist him in the discussions. In addition to representatives of the Board of Trade, the delegation will include officers from the Dominions Office, the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries and the Board of Customs and Excise.

Mr. Mander

Will the right hon. Gentleman pay no attention to any attempt by private vested interests to bring these important negotiations to naught?

Mr. Bellenger

Does the right hon. Gentleman anticipate that these negotiations will be of a protracted nature, or does he hope for some sort of an agreement this year?

Mr. Stanley

It is never much good anticipating the course of negotiations. There are obviously many difficult subjects to discuss.

Captain Peter Macdonald

Will there be any representation of the Colonies on this delegation? My right hon. Friend spoke of the Dominions; why not the Colonies?

Mr. Stanley

Any questions will be closely watched, and I think the officials we are sending out will be quite ample.

Mr. De la Bère

Will they do anything to safeguard the interests of the agriculturists?

Mr. Kirkwood

Is it possible for private individuals to use influence with the Government to overcome any decision to which they might come?