HC Deb 27 May 1952 vol 501 cc1139-40
26. Mr. Shepherd

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether, in view of the vital need for the United Kingdom and Western Europe to balance their trading accounts by selling more goods in the North American markets, he will call a conference of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation nations with a view to approaching the United States of America for substantial reductions in the present high tariffs.

Mr. H. Strauss

No, Sir.

Mr. Shepherd

Does not my hon. and learned Friend realise that it is quite impossible for the Eastern Hemisphere to balance its account with the Western Hemisphere unless some substantial steps are taken to secure a demand for goods from this country and Western Europe in the United States?.

Mr. Strauss

I am not differing as to the importance of the object my hon. Friend has in mind, but this method would not be, in our opinion, the most effective means of achieving that object.

28. Mr. Bence

asked the President of the Board of Trade what steps he is taking to offset the effects of the proposed increase in American tariffs against British products.

Mr. H. Strauss

The applications to the United States Tariff Commission for increases in certain duties which are of particular interest to the United Kingdom are still being investigated by the Commission. No recommendation has yet been made to the United States Government. The question of taking steps to offset the effects of increases in the duties, therefore, does not at present arise.

Mr. Nabarro

Can my hon. and learned Friend say whether his Department has yet received any reply to the recent representations to Washington in connection with the proposed increase in American tariffs on British goods?

Mr. Strauss

Yes, there was a reply, and it has been published in the OFFICIAL REPORT.