HC Deb 31 May 1938 vol 336 cc1802-3
5. Mr. Tomlinson

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he is aware that in 1937 India increased her exports of cotton goods by 115,000,00o yards, mostly to British Empire territories; and what action does His Majesty's Government propose to take to obtain a limitation of these exports, in view of India's attitude towards the Ottawa Agreement and of the fact that tariffs against British textiles into India are 20 per cent. and 25 per cent. ad valorem?

Mr. Stanley

A large part of the increase in India's recorded exports of cotton piece goods in 1937, as compared with 1936, is due to the fact that India's trade with Burma has been separately recorded as from 1st April, 1937. The expansion in India's exports of cotton piece goods to all other destinations amounted to 63,000,000 yards, of which about half was in respect of exports to British countries. The position enjoyed by India in Empire markets is a consideration to which His Majesty's Government are giving due weight in the negotiations for a new agreement, in which one of their major objectives is a satisfactory settlement in regard to the United Kingdom cotton trade with India.

9. Mr. Day

asked the President of the Board of Trade particulars of the notification received from the Government of India of their intention to terminate the Ottawa Trade Agreement?

Mr. Stanley

Notice of denunciation of the Ottawa Agreement was given on behalf of the Government of India on 13th May, 1936, as the result of a resolution passed by the Indian Legislative Assembly on 30th March, 1936. The Government of India at the same time intimated their willingness to enter upon conversations with a view to the conclusion of a new agreement. Such negotiations were subsequently initiated, and it was agreed between the two Governments that the Ottawa Agreement should continue in force subject to termination at three months' notice by either party unless it was replaced by a new agreement.

Mr. Day

Has the right hon. Gentleman received particulars of any consequential discussions that took place when this decision was arrived at?

Mr. Stanley

No Sir; the representatives of the Lancashire cotton industry have not yet got back from India.

Back to