HC Deb 13 November 1952 vol 507 cc1112-3
31. Mr. Osborne

asked the President of the Board of Trade to make a statement on the trade negotiations which have been going on since February in the Argentine; and what are the main obstacles to an early settlement.

Mr. P. Thorneycroft

The negotiations which both Governments were required to hold under the Agreement on Trade and Payments concluded with Argentina on 27th June, 1949, and the Protocol to this Agreement of 23rd April, 1951, have been somewhat delayed by the examination of outstanding points in the Protocol and by changes in the Argentine Cabinet. But we have recently exchanged comprehensive proposals with the Argentines and at the request of Her Majesty's Ambassador, representatives of the Treasury and the Board of Trade have now gone to Argentina to assist in the negotiations.

Mr. Osborne

First, are the difficulties mainly financial and to do with the old transactions or are they mainly to do with current and future trade? Secondly, are the problems respecting trade mostly to do with the price we have to pay for meat or the price we are asking the Argentine to pay for our coal?

Mr. Thorneycroft

The best service that hon. Member can render to secure a satisfactory outcome would be not to press me for details of the negotiations at this stage.